Despite mounting legal difficulties, former President Donald Trump raised over $35 million in the second quarter from an army of small-dollar contributors.
A source familiar with the matter has revealed that Trump’s campaign and his leadership PAC received their respective shares of the funds earned via the Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee. Politico was the first to reveal the staggering sum, which smashed the previous quarter’s total of $18.8 million.
Trump’s continued dominance in the race for the Republican nomination coincides with this money windfall. According to RealClearPolitics’ average of national surveys, 52.4% of people like him, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis coming in second with 21.5%.
Trump’s former VP Mike Pence, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley are among the other eight contenders with less than 6% support.
Trump is the only contender to publicly disclose their salary. The Federal Election Commission requires complete financial reports from all campaigns by July 15. After announcing his run for president in late May, DeSantis raised $8.2 million in the first 24 hours but hasn’t disclosed his total for the quarter.
Despite being indicted, Trump has managed to maintain his polling lead and raise $6.6 million.
The increase comes after an initially dismal fundraising performance by Trump. His fourth quarter 2022 total of $20.4 million includes $9.5 million raised after he declared his third bid for the White House on November 15. His first quarter 2023 total was lower.
However, the two indictments and other legal problems have galvanised the group’s followers. The campaign disclosed the $15.4 million in donations in the days after Trump’s indictment on March 30 by a Manhattan grand jury on charges connected to hush-money payments to an adult-film actress.
Trump’s campaign claimed to have collected $6.6 million “in a few short days” after Special Counsel Jack Smith indicted the candidate on 37 felony charges connected to mishandling secret data and attempting to thwart attempts by US authorities to retrieve them in federal court.
Trump entered not guilty pleas on April 4 for the New York indictments and June 13 for the federal allegations. No prior president has ever been indicted for a crime. Both incidents have been widely denounced by Trump as “election interference,” and he often brings them up in fundraising emails and texts.
Trump has raised the proportion of donations made to Save America, the leadership PAC he uses to cover legal fees in several of his lawsuits. It used to get one cent out of every dollar donated. It was 5% before, but Trump raised it to 10%.
The former president faces further legal challenges beyond the existing criminal prosecutions. He was convicted guilty of sexual assault and slander by a federal jury, and now author E. Jean Carroll is suing him for his comments. Trump has countersued her, alleging that she defamed him.
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In September of last year, the state of New York filed a civil fraud complaint against him, the Trump Organisation, and three of his children seeking $250 million in damages. His oldest daughter Ivanka Trump was successful in having the lawsuit dismissed against her, but he and his executive sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump remain named as defendants.
Smith’s office is looking into Trump’s role in the riot on January 6, 2021, in the US Capitol, and there is a process in Georgia looking into Trump’s attempts to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in the state.