More than 20% of Trump re-election campaign spending going to legal fees


During the first quarter of the year, Trump spent about $834,000 on legal expenses - down from the USA $1.1 million he spent in each of the previous two quarters, according to disclosures filed with Federal Election Commission.

President Donald Trump's reelection campaign continued to spend a sizable chunk of its money on legal fees in the first months of 2018, the continuation of a pattern that emerged previous year. The campaign has paid at least eight law firms, with the two firms working on the Stormy Daniels case receiving a combined $280,000. One other unusual facet of the campaign's money operation: Roughly $1 in every $5 spent is going toward legal fees, reports the Los Angeles Times. But legal fees weren't the only big expense: About $650,000 went toward campaign gear such as hats and mugs.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan revealed in court papers Friday that Cohen, whose office and residences were raided by the FBI last week, has been under investigation for months. It's not clear whether Trump is actually paying his lawyers, considering the campaign's high legal spending. It raised $10.1 million in the first three months of 2018, and had $28.3 million in cash on-hand by the end of March.

That was a big increase over the last quarter of 2017, when the three committees together raised $12.5 million.

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Trump has opted - unlike presidents before him - to begin actively fundraising in the early part of his first term. In first quarter of 2018, 61 percent of the direct contributions to his campaign committee came from donations of $200 or less.

About $125,000 was spent by the campaign at Trump-owned businesses, hotels and restaurants.

The campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump will stand for re-election in November 2020.

Along with legal fees, he also has used that income to invest in effort rallies to keep a campaign staff and also also to pay for digital advertisements focused on his fans. Parscale was the digital director of Trump's 2016 campaign. After McEntee was sacked over security concerns, he was immediately hired by the campaign. McEntee lost his White House job after an investigation found his gambling habits posed a security risk, The Washington Post reported.