Trump’s indictments are having diminishing returns for his political fundraising

By | August 1, 2023

Politico reports:

Donald Trump’s legal troubles have created windfalls for his political fundraising in the past. And his team has not been shy about using various investigations, indictments and court appearances to turbocharge his donor base.

But new data filed with the Federal Election Commission by WinRed, the premiere GOP donation processor used by Trump and most other Republican candidates, shows that trend may be ebbing.

The former president’s fundraising did not spike as high after his second indictment in June compared to his first one in the spring.

All told, Trump raised nearly $4 million via WinRed from nearly 80,000 distinct donors April 4, the day he pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan court on charges of falsification of business records related to payouts to porn star Stormy Daniels. It was his best online fundraising day of the year.

By contrast, when Trump appeared in Miami court June 13 to plead not guilty to his second indictment on charges related to classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago, he raised only $1.3 million from just over 35,0000 donors, according to WinRed data. [Continue reading…]

Politico reports:

Donald Trump’s joint fundraising committee reported raising $53.8 million in the first half of the year, a long-teased figure that blows all of his Republican opponents out of the water.

But the committee and its two affiliates — the former president’s official campaign and his leadership Save America PAC — have collectively spent $57 million over the same period, according to a POLITICO analysis of campaign finance filings. The spending rate threatens to put a significant strain on Trump’s finances as the election gears up.

All told, the joint fundraising committee spent more than $17 million over the first six months of 2023 on fundraising expenses such as digital consulting, direct mail, email and list rentals.

The Save America leadership PAC, which also filed its own biannual report on Monday, reported spending more than $24.4 million in the first six months of the year, excluding transfers to related committees.

By far the biggest expense from Save America was legal consulting, which accounted for more than $21 million. [Continue reading…]

The Daily Beast reports:

When allies of former President Donald Trump launched his new legal defense fund, they created a group with few restrictions on how much it can raise, even fewer on how much it can spend, and the ability for deep-pocketed donors to remain anonymous.

In essence, Trump’s legal costs have gotten so high that he’s been forced to find a new way around campaign finance laws—a route that will allow him to draw massive donations from megadonors who could not otherwise write checks large enough to replenish his attorney costs.

While the plans for launching the group, called the “Patriot Legal Defense Fund,” were first reported on Sunday by The New York Times, it turns out the entity was created on July 19. That filing, however, won’t be found in the campaign finance database maintained by the Federal Election Commission, where political campaigns typically register.

Instead, the PLDF was registered with the IRS as a special type of political nonprofit under section 527 of the tax code—as what’s loosely known as a “527” or “shadow” group. [Continue reading…]

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