Donald Trump, Arizona Federal Theatre
Former President Donald J. Trump at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" hosted by Turning Point Action at Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, AZ. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)

So far this year, Trump’s “Save America” PAC has spent a staggering $40 million on legal costs, and these bills will keep on coming.

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Donald Trump has successfully made his supporters believe that his presidential campaigns are all about fighting for them, which is why gullible conservatives have been willing to pick up the tab. Now, however, with the former president burning through their money to cover his mounting legal bills (as well as those of the people he needs to keep quiet), the question is whether the “billionaire” can keep the con going long enough to avoid having to pay for his attorneys himself.

So far this year, Trump’s “Save America” PAC has spent a staggering $40 million on legal costs — both his own and those of people in his orbit who participated in his alleged crimes and/or could provide evidence against him.

In other words, the former president wants to make sure that everybody is “lawyered up” so as not to incriminate him. Obviously, this can also be used as leverage. For example, hypothetically, if you are a Mar-a-Lago maintenance worker who lied to the FBI about obstructing justice, paying for your own attorney might be prohibitively expensive. However, if your boss comes in and offers to cover those bills, there is an implicit understanding that this will happen only as long as said maintenance worker is loyal and “doing the right thing.”

That works out great for Trump, especially because he is not actually paying for any of this… the regular Americans who are sending him their hard-earned money are.

Of course, they might not even realize that this is what their donation is used for. After all, they are giving money to a campaign to “retake America” or “make America great again… again,” and not a legal defense fund (although, in light of these expenses, Trump is now setting up one of those for his underlings).

But here is his problem: The former president has done so much illegal stuff that these bills will keep on coming. Special counsel Jack Smith just filed his superseding indictment in the case of Trump hoarding classified documents and obstructing justice. It names a new co-defendant, who just happens to be a Mar-a-Lago maintenance worker and will need a lawyer in order to be kept quiet.

In addition, the former president is going to be indicted at least one more time in the near future (for the violent insurrection part of his coup attempt), and possibly twice (for the “overturn the will of the people and just find me some votes” part of his coup attempt).

Especially in the case of the former, that also means a lot more legal bills for Trump and others.

That raises the question of whether those gullible everyday Americans keep sending money quickly enough to cover them.

It might be close. Forty million dollars in six months is a lot of money to spend on lawyers, and it seems unlikely that these costs will go down any time soon.

One thing that works in Trump’s advantage is that the Republican primary isn’t at all competitive at this point (and very likely won’t be at all). Therefore, he doesn’t have to spend a lot of his campaign’s money on actually campaigning.

At this point, he is mostly holding rallies to satisfy his malignant narcissism. And, in many cases, he then ends up not paying his bills.

All of this is perhaps the perfect example of Trumpism because it involves lots of crimes, people willing to take the fall for him, other people getting conned out of their money, and the former president claiming to be a victim without paying a dime.

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