Trump’s legal costs pile up

Donald Trump claims he has almost “$500 million in cash” at his disposal, which sounds like a lot until you realize what the guy is forking over in legal fees. 

What happened: Yesterday, investors approved a plan to take Trump’s struggling social media business public next week, which would unlock a potential US$3 billion windfall for the former U.S. president as he looks to drum up cash to cover his massive legal costs. 

Why it matters: Financial pressures could impact Trump’s presidential run. Though he’s now able to raise money for legal bills through a fundraising vehicle with the Republican National Convention, funds that could be used for campaigning are being funnelled to lawyers. 

  • Trump has paid his lawyers $76 million over two years. Now he owes $500 million to prevent the enforcement of a fraud judgment in New York, or have his assets seized.
  • This week, Biden’s campaign reported $71 million cash on hand for his principal campaign committee, compared to Trump’s $33.5 million, at the end of February.

What’s next: Trump’s ~60% stake in Truth Social is worth ~$3 billion, but a lot can change in the months he’ll need to wait before he can sell any of it. The value of the company has shot up as his supporters rally around him, but it remains to be seen how the stock trades.

Bottom line: Still, standing in the way of Trump’s path back into the White House are 88 criminal charges over attempts to undo the result of an election, hush-money payments, and the retention of classified information. His legal costs are huge, and are only set to rise.—SB