Trump owes lawyers seven-figure sum as ex-president shovels donors’ funds into hefty legal bills

Hefty fees to hush money lawyer Todd Blanche made up a a large proportion of the debt

James Liddell
Wednesday 22 May 2024 13:51
Related: Trump lashes out at Judge Merchan on last day of hush money trial testimony

Donald Trump started the month owing his lawyers a seven-figure sum as the ex-president burns through thousands of dollars per day to cover his burgeoning legal fees.

Founded and controlled by Mr Trump, Save America leadership political action committee (PAC) has been his primary fundraising and political spending wing since he left the White House.

The PAC, composed of wealthy pro-Trump donors, has absorbed most of the cost from his legal troubles, as he faces 91 felony counts including 34 from his hush money trial alone. Mr Trump denies all charges held against him.

Last year, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee spent $55 million on legal bills, according to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), according to a filing in February. In February alone, Save America spent $230,000 on lawyer fees, as per the filing.

Save America entered 2024 with liquid cash of just $5 million after Mr Trump burned through his donors’ funds paying off his astronomical legal bills.

According to Save America’s most recent filings with the FEC, the former president owes approximately $1.1 million to five law firms. One law firm accounts for Save America’s greatest debt: Blanche Law, founded by Todd Blanche.

Donald Trump owed more than $800,000 to Todd Blanche’s firm up to the start of this month
Donald Trump owed more than $800,000 to Todd Blanche’s firm up to the start of this month (2024 Getty Images)

Mr Blanche is representing Mr Trump who stands trial for falsifying business records over alleged hush money payments to adult star Stormy Daniels to quash claims of an alleged affair ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Mr Trump denies all 34 felony counts against him and any accusations of an affair.

The ex-president owed $837,000 to the firm with a majority of the fee accruing since the end of March, with jury selection for the case commencing on 15 April. Blanche Law has since been paid $854,000, according to The Daily Beast.

Mr Blanche is set for a lucrative year, also defending Mr Trump for his classified documents case in Florida, which has been postponed, and co-counsel for his federal election interference case in DC.

Additionally, Save America dished out nearly $3.3 million in May on legal consulting.

The PAC also had $168,000 of outstanding debt to Yurowitz Law PLCC in April – with attorney Steven Yurowitz, another lawyer on the hush money case.

Save America held $96,000 in debt to Dhillon Law Group, the firm founded by California Republican National Committee (RNC) member Harmeet Dhillon, as of the beginning of this month.

Former president Donald Trump with his attorneys Emil Bove (L) and Todd Blanche (R) on Tuesday
Former president Donald Trump with his attorneys Emil Bove (L) and Todd Blanche (R) on Tuesday (AP)

It also spent almost $3.3 million on legal consulting in April to about a dozen firms. Save America reimbursed political accounting firm Red Curve Solutions another $45,000.

The committee appears to be relying on large transfers from two other Trump-affiliated PACs, which won’t have to file campaign finance disclosures until July, as per the filing.

A refund of $2.75 million from another Trump-supporting PAC, Make America Great Again Inc also assisted in paying bills.

Mr Trump now has to balance the costs of a national presidential campaign ahead of November’s election while he’s embroiled in lawsuits.

It comes as the Biden campaign raised substantially less cash than the Trump campaign for the first time since 2020 as the pair prepare to face off in November.

Last month, President Joe Biden’s campaign raised more than $51m, while $76m was raised by the campaign of Mr Trump and the Republican Party.

However, Democrats still lead Republicans in overall cash and Mr Biden himself has significantly more cash than Mr Trump.

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