Early news reports of former President Donald Trump’s astronomical $40.2 million in legal expenses now appear to have been off by about $20.1 million, or exactly half, according to a new Federal Election Commission filing.
Perhaps more notable, however, is the financial state of his former flagship leadership PAC, “Save America,” which covered those fees. Once a fundraising juggernaut, Save America ended June with just $3.7 million in the bank—a $100 million drop from its $103 million stash just one year ago—as the legal threats are only increasing in scope and severity.
The highly anticipated filing shows about $20.1 million in legal costs, with another roughly $1.5 million in additional legal reimbursements.
The early news reports—sourced from “people familiar with the filing”—and the disclosure itself don’t provide enough data to show where the error lay. However, the seemingly neat halfway split could suggest an accounting mistake—or, alternatively, possibly unreliable or intentionally misleading sourcing. Those fees do appear to extend to an array of law firms—indicating financial support for a long list of possible witnesses in several cases—as well as to Trump’s own stable of attorneys.
The Trump operation had spent so much on lawyers that they opened a separate legal fund on July 19 and reportedly asked a Trump-aligned super PAC to refund $60 million in shady transfers ahead of his candidate announcement last fall.
The filing also shows that Save America raised just $15.6 million in the first six months of the year while spending nearly double that amount—$30.2 million. But the accounting discrepancy could also reflect a systemic problem—Trump’s full operation also filed more than two dozen corrected reports across several committees on Monday, going back as far as January 2021.