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Ultra-wealthy donor gave pro-Trump group $50 million the day after NY felony conviction

Timothy Mellon, an ultra-wealthy banking heir, donated $50 million to a super PAC supporting former President Donald Trump on the day after his felony conviction, records from the Federal Election Commission show, one of the largest disclosed campaign contributions ever.

The $50 million contribution is a staggering amount for pro-Trump forces as the White House campaign enters a crucial period when voters are starting to tune in to the high-stakes race between presumptive GOP nominee Trump and incumbent President Joe Biden.

Trump already has made history as the first former president and major party nominee to be found guilty of a felony. His campaign has been able to use his legal troubles as a way to increase support and donations: In May, the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee announced a $141 million haul as his criminal trial dominated the headlines. The conviction crashed his donation website.

Mellon's donation is sure to help Trump's efforts to win back the White House. The super PAC, Make America Great Again Inc., plans to spend an additional $100 million through Labor Day, according to a memo from the group's owners obtained by The New York Times. The super PAC supporting Trump's campaign is preparing an advertising blitz in key states where Trump leads Biden in the polls, the Times reported.

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The heir to the family fortune of banking and industrial magnate Andrew Mellon was already the largest single donor in the 2024 race. Before May, he had supported both Trump and independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. with a string of donations totaling $50 million. In April alone, he donated $15 million to super PACs backing both candidates.

More: Who is Timothy Mellon, the ultra-wealthy donor bankrolling both RFK Jr. and Donald Trump?

Who is Timothy Mellon?

Mellon is the former chairman and majority owner of Pan Am Systems, a transportation holding company purchased by CSX Corp. in 2022.

He is the heir to a family fortune based on the founding of the T. Mellon and Sons Bank and lucrative investments in real estate and companies including the Aluminum Company of America and Gulf Oil.

What is Timothy Mellon's net worth?

The Mellon family’s net worth is estimated at $14.1 billion, according to Forbes.

Mellon has used his fortune to support Republican candidates and causes in the past. He spent $60 million in 2020 and $47 million in 2022, according to the nonprofit research group Open Secrets.

Rachel Barber is a 2024 election fellow at USA TODAY, focusing on politics and education. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter, as @rachelbarber_

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pro-Trump group got $50 million from donor day after NY guilty verdict