Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Trump spent $76 million over last two years on attorneys


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Washington, Feb 3: Donald Trump’s storied business career is checkered by bankruptcies and blunders. His investment in Eli Bartov, a New York University accounting professor, looms as another failed venture.
Trump’s Save America political action committee paid Bartov nearly USD 930,000 last year as an expert witness in the New York attorney general’s civil fraud case that threatens the former president’s real estate empire, according to new Federal Election Commission filings.
Bartov bombed. New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron declared in December the professor’s testimony proved only that “for a million or so dollars, some experts will say whatever you want them to say.” An Associated Press analysis of new Federal Election Commission filings shows the payments to Bartov are among USD 54 million in legal expenditures made last year by Trump’s political fundraising machine. The spending came as Trump has been battling multiple lawsuits and dozens of felony charges in four criminal cases.
Save America accounted for the bulk of the payments, with 84 per cent of the committee’s spending going toward legal costs.
Coupled with FEC data from 2022, AP’s review found that Save America, Trump’s presidential campaign and his other fundraising organizations have devoted USD 76.7 million to legal fees over the two years. The hefty sum underscores the legal jeopardy Trump faces as he marches toward securing the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Richard Briffault, a professor at Columbia Law School in New York who specializes in campaign finance regulation and government ethics, said that while the legal expenses are large, they’re unlikely to hamper Trump’s run for the White House. “He seems to be able to raise a lot of money, so I wouldn’t really worry about the long term impact on his campaign,” Briffault said.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and he’s blasted the lengthy list of felony charges and lawsuits as partisan attempts to upend his presidential bid. The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the legal spending.
Several of his most prominent lawyers have surpassed USD 5 million each in payments, all footed by the former president’s campaign donors, according to the FEC filings. (AP)


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