Trump fundraising doubles to $35m amid growing legal woes, report says

Donald Trump’s increasingly serious legal problems are translating into a cash boom for his third presidential campaign, a staffer told Politico this week.

The campaign is due to release official fundraising numbers by the end of the month, per an upcoming Federal Election Commission (FEC) deadline. But a campaign official familiar with the matter provided the eye-popping sum to Politico: $34m, a haul that puts him firmly on top of the GOP primary field, dollars-wise, and depicts a campaign picking up steam as Mr Trump apparently solidifies his support base within the GOP primary voter population.

In the first quarter of 2023, Mr Trump’s campaign had presented a fundraising total of $18.8m — impressive, but not nearly as high as his latest quarter. However, a greater share of donations is now being diverted to the Save America PAC, the twice-indicted former president’s vessel for outside spending that has fronted the bulk of his legal costs in recent months.

Previous news reports indictated that the donation levers were pulled on Mr Trump’s WinRed donation page to divert as much as 10 per cent of every donation to the Save America PAC, up from just 1 per cent of every gift earlier this year.

The total is likely to bolster Mr Trump’s argument against Republican candidates like primary rival Will Hurd who have argued that Mr Trump’s legal problems will jeopardise his chances of winning a general election against President Joe Biden. While polling backs up Mr Hurd’s assertion at present, the Trump campaign’s war chest will prove a counter-argument that paints the former president as the candidate with GOP voter enthusiasm and the funding necessary to wage an effective general election campaign.

Mr Trump faces a growing field of GOP rivals, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, and his former vice president, Mike Pence. But he has remained dominant across polling of the field for months, even amid his two criminal indictments for allegedly falsifying business records in New York and the alleged illegal retention of classfied materials at Mar-a-Lago.

The legal pressure mounting against the former president is likely to escalate in the coming weeks, given the two investigations known to be currently ongoing involving him and his closest advisers.

Officials in Fulton County, Georgia are weighing whether to bring criminal indictments against Mr Trump and members of his legal team over their efforts to alter the lawful election results in that state, while the Department of Justice has been reported by The Independent to be weighing a superceding indictment charging Mr Trump with dozens of offences related to the January 6 attack and his related efforts to block Joe Biden’s election victory.

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