Former President Donald Trump spent several days in the lead up to the votes in Iowa and New Hampshire in courthouses rather than on the campaign trail.

In 2023, Donald Trump’s political operation faced a financial setback, spending more than it raised, primarily due to substantial legal expenses. Trump’s political action committees shelled out a staggering $29 million in legal consulting and fees in the latter half of the year, leaving a mere $5 million in his leadership PAC’s account. Throughout the year, the former president allocated approximately $50 million in donor funds to legal matters.

Analyzing campaign finance filings, a POLITICO study revealed that Trump’s committees collectively spent around $210 million in 2023, while raising just under $200 million. Despite starting 2024 with a surplus from prior robust fundraising, the trend of outspending raises concerns for the upcoming general election.

Save America, Trump’s leadership PAC, was a major contributor to legal costs, spending over $25 million on legal expenses in the last six months of 2023. Make America Great Again PAC, receiving most of its funding from Save America, added over $4 million to legal bills during the same period. Legal expenses were partially covered by Save America through $42 million in refunds from Make America Great Again Inc., a super PAC, which also raised funds for pro-Trump ads.

Facing 91 felony counts across four criminal cases, Trump’s legal battles have diverted significant resources, including time spent in courthouses rather than on the campaign trail. The joint fundraising committee, Trump’s primary fundraising entity, reported over $75 million in the latter half of 2023, but substantial expenses included digital consulting, ads, list rentals, direct mail, and merchandise fees.

Noteworthy is the list of law firms and attorneys involved, reflecting the intricate legal landscape. Despite financial challenges, Trump’s political venture attracted support from major donors, with Timothy Mellon and Linda McMahon contributing significantly to MAGA Inc., a super PAC affiliated with Trump’s political operation.

Overall, Trump’s 2023 financial report reveals the strain of legal battles on his political campaign, raising questions about fiscal sustainability as the 2024 election looms.