Trump's invitation to wealthy donors favors his legal fees above the RNC. (Part-1)

New York— According to a fundraising invitation acquired by The Associated Press, Donald Trump's new joint fundraising deal with the Republican National organization sends donations to his campaign and a political action organization that pays the former president's legal fees before the RNC gets a cut

Republican supporters may see their money go to Trump's lawyers, who have gotten at least $76 million over the last two years to defend him against four felony indictments and many civil cases, according to the Save America PAC's unusual transfer of funds. Some Republicans worry that Trump's RNC takeover could hurt the cash-strapped party.

Trump has invited wealthy donors to Palm Beach, Florida, for an April 6 fundraiser despite trailing President Joe Biden and national Democrats. In the invitation's fine print, donations to the Trump 47 Committee will first pay Trump's campaign the maximum federally allowable amount. The RNC and state political parties receive any remaining funds after a maximum gift to Save America.

Adav Noti, executive director of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center in Washington, said that breaks fundraising guidelines. Noti said politicians usually prioritize campaign-related fundraising. Save America is a “leadership PAC” and cannot directly fund Trump's campaign. At 85% of Save America's operating expenses in the first two months of this year, legal spending was similar to 2023's 89%. The company has spent $8.5 million on legal fees this year.

The reason most candidates don't do this is because the hardest money to raise is campaign money,” said former Federal Election Commission staff attorney Noti. “No other candidate has used a leadership PAC like Trump. The Trump campaign noted that Save America spends on non-legal expenses and that April fundraiser donors who donate $814,600 or $250,000 will only receive $5,000, sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to the RNC.

Save America also funds a large post-Presidency office and other non-Biden witch-hunt expenses. Trump 47 Committee contributions go mostly to the Trump campaign, RNC, and state GOP parties. Less than 1% (.006%) of an individual donor's maximum $824,600 contribution goes to Save America, claimed Trump campaign communications director Steven Cheung.

A Trump 47 Committee contribution form allows donors to donate smaller or any size donations, but states in the fine print that the donation goes to the Trump campaign and Save America first. Trump appointed his daughter-in-law Lara Trump as co-chair of the RNC, and Chris LaCivita, one of two Trump campaign managers, as chief of staff.

Lara Trump said in February that Republican voters would like the RNC to fund Trump's legal bills. In an interview with the AP soon before the RNC leadership change, LaCivita maintained that “not a penny of the RNC’s money or, for that matter, the campaign’s money has gone or will go to pay legal fees.”

The Washington Post reported that the RNC was paying some of Trump's New York legal fees from his presidency before he was a candidate. Former Chair Ronna McDaniel, who was dismissed this month, declared in 2022 that the RNC would stop paying if Trump ran.

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