'Empty The Coffers': GOP Panic As Trump Legal Costs Siphon Off Donations

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump's mounting legal bills are threatening the Republican Party's ability to fundraise ahead of a pivotal presidential election.

The Washington Post reports that the Republican National Committee (RNC) is already starting to fret about its finances given that it's trailing the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in fundraising by an almost three-to-one margin. The DNC has roughly $25 million in cash on hand, compared to the RNC's $8.7 million. And between President Joe Biden's campaign and the Trump campaign, the difference looms even larger: Biden had more than $56 million in cash available by the end of January 2024, whereas Trump had less than $31 million. At the end of 2023, Biden also led in unique donors, with 172,000 to Trump's 143,000 unique donors.

Leading GOP figures are now starting to question whether that gap can be closed at all given that Trump still needs to pay for his legal defense in four looming criminal trials this year.

"[Trump] needs to raise money. Look what Democrats are raising. I told him, they are going to empty the coffers here," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told the Post. "It’s one of the things that concerns me."

Aside from his legal bills for defending himself from 91 felony charges, the former president has also been crushed under the weight of multiple civil judgments. Earlier this month, writer E. Jean Carroll won an $83.3 million judgment against Trump for defamation, and a New York clerk recently entered in a total cost of $454 million for Trump's civil fraud judgment, when taking interest into account. The ex-president is now facing roughly $111,000 per day in new interest until that judgment is paid, even as he appeals the verdict. The Post estimated that in 2023 alone, roughly 23 percent of all money raised by Trump's affiliated political action committees went toward paying his legal costs.

Unlike Trump, Biden and the DNC are unburdened by legal woes, and are free to spend on advertising and organizing in both competitive battleground states along with high-profile US Senate races.

"It's been a tough couple of weeks if you are Donald Trump and also like money,” Biden rapid response director Ammar Moussa told the Post. "While Trump, with the help of his ultrarich donors, burn cash paying for Trump’s... challenges, our campaign is proud of its historic war chest whose funds are going to reach the voters who will decide the election this November."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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