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New Filings Reveal Trump’s Legal Bills Are Costing Him Big

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty Images
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty Images

Even before his criminal hush money trial began last month, former President Donald Trump’s leadership PAC was burning through hundreds of thousands of dollars every day.

Now, according to Trump’s Save America leadership PAC’s most recent filings with the Federal Election Commission, the former president started this month at least seven figures in debt to his lawyers.

Trump’s Save America leadership PAC—which he has used as a legal slush fund—owes $1.1 million to five different law firms. That’s in addition to the nearly $3.3 million the committee doled out last month on legal consulting.

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Save America owes its biggest debt, $837,000, to Blanche Law, the firm founded by Todd Blanche, with the bulk of that total accruing since the end of March. Blanche has served as lead counsel for the defense in the ex-president’s blockbuster hush money trial in Manhattan, and the committee paid Blanche’s firm $854,000 over the course of two weeks in April. Blanche is also lead counsel for Trump’s classified documents case in Florida and co-counsel for his federal election interference case in D.C.

Save America also accrued $168,000 in debt to Yurowitz Law PLCC in April. Steven Yurowitz, an attorney with that firm, is another lawyer on the hush money case.

And as of the beginning of May, the committee held $96,000 in debt to Dhillon Law Group, the firm founded by California Republican National Committee member Harmeet Dhillon, who unsuccessfully ran for RNC chair last year. Dhillon told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that “Save America is current on all of its obligations to our firm” and that they “are proud to have them as a client.”

In total, the leadership PAC had a net increase of $245,000 in legal debt from March to April.

Still, the filings show the committee has paid off some of what it owes, eliminating its debt to one law firm, Robert & Robert, for its work on the fraud case brought on by New York Attorney General Letitia James against the Trump Organization.

“President Trump's lawyers will continue to fight all of these Biden Trials and they will continue to be appropriately compensated for their time and efforts,” said Trump campaign communications director Steven Cheung.

Save America also spent almost $3.3 million on legal consulting in April to about a dozen firms, including more than half a million to firms tied to Chris Kise, an attorney who has worked on the hush money case and the classified documents case; $390,000 to John Lauro, who is working with Blanche to defend Trump in his election interference case; $174,000 to James Otis Law Group LLC, the firm founded by D. John Sauer, who recently argued Trump was immune from prosecution for election interference; and $140,000 to the firm belonging to Trump lawyer and spokesperson Alina Habba.

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Save America also reported paying another $45,000 to its political accounting firm, Red Curve Solutions, as “reimbursement for legal expenses.” As The Daily Beast reported last month, the arrangement masks the final recipients of the money, prompting a federal complaint from nonprofit watchdog Campaign Legal Center.

The filings indicate that the committee is relying on huge transfers from two other Trump-affiliated PACs, which won’t have to file campaign finance disclosures until July, as well as a $2.75 million refund from Trump-supporting super PAC Make America Great Again Inc., to pay the bills.

According to numbers which campaign officials shared with The New York Times, the Trump campaign and the RNC’s national joint fundraising efforts netted a total $76.2 million in April, far outpacing the $51 million President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee announced they raised last month.

The public won’t have full information about each side’s fundraising until later this summer, but Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said in a statement: “President Trump and the RNC significantly outraised Biden and the Democrats in the month of April, thanks to the support of millions of small-dollar donors from every state across the country.”

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For now, documents show the Trump campaign brought in $9.4 million in April, compared to the Biden campaign’s $24.2 million. On the national party level, the RNC’s filings show a total of $32 million in receipts last month, with the DNC reporting $35.5 million.

While Save America is shoveling money into legal payments, the other committees associated with the former president aren’t entirely off the hook. His campaign committee paid Dhillon Law Group $586,000 for legal consulting in April. The RNC paid the firm an additional $27,000, part of the half-million in total it spent on legal and compliance services.

The legal costs, which are unlikely to let up as Trump faces numerous fights with the law, pose a significant challenge to the former president as he faces a tough rematch with Biden in November.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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