NEGATIVE BALANCE: Trump’s financial problems mount

NEGATIVE BALANCE: Trump's financial problems mount

Trump may have very little money left to actually campaign, which isn’t all that bad when one considers that he may have even less time, given all the trials.

Speaking of money, trials, and campaigns, The New York Times reports that Trump’s legal bills are now exceeding the amount of donation money coming in. This is especially bad news when Trump must know that the legal fees are about to go to the moon in trial preparation. Bloomberg says Trump faces up to six trials next year.

Maybe the MAGAs are figuring out that they shouldn’t be paying a rich guy’s legal bills?

After all, at this point, the fact that Trump is using donations on legal expenses has been covered extensively enough that it’s likely even seeped into the MAGA echo chambers on cable television and the net.

The New York Times may have spent as much or more time than Trump’s financial advisors studying the public filings regarding the amount of money going out versus that coming in.

From the brilliant Times report:

“Mr. Trump’s complex political orbit is already spending more than it is taking in, and tapping into money it raised years ago — an unusual trajectory this far out from an election. And the burn rate raises questions about whether such an approach is untenable, or whether Mr. Trump will eventually need to dip into his own fortune to pay for his lawyers, his 2024 campaign or both.”

Dip into his own fortune?


Trump to attorneys: “Are there deals on the table? Ones where it’s like a parking ticket? Maybe one that I don’t go to prison until after the election that I’ll fight a war to win?”

Sorry, not funny.

Dip into his own fortune? On something that isn’t even fun? Self-indulgent? Something that isn’t as good as golf, fried chicken, or a horrifically ruined USDA Prime Rib-Eye well done with ketchup on top?

Spend money on something with no return? (Well, it could deliver the single best “return” in his life if he somehow escapes legal liability. That’s a good investment.)

Yes, if he wants to stay out of prison and put together a strong campaign. It must be considered even if Trump believes it’s a crime against humanity and calls The Hague.

The Times calls Trump famously “tight-fisted,” while Chris Christie wasn’t quite as polite, calling Trump the “cheapest” guy on earth and saying that Trump only succeeds in spending “other people’s money.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s advisors have been preparing for a massive spring cash crunch.

Damn. If just one goose in the red gaggle of challengers could really get it together and make a charge, it would force Trump to spend money in the spring to beat that challenger just as he (likely) goes into the general election.

Here are the numbers to really drive home the point of the report:

“Those entities brought in $67.2 million in new donations in the first half of the year and spent about $90 million in the same period. Most of the money that went to legal fees did not come from new donations, the records show. Save America, the PAC doing the bulk of the legal spending, raised much of its funds in the aftermath of the 2020 election and plunged $16 million into legal expenses in 2022. It’s nearly been bled dry.”

So the old bank account that was formed to “fight the steal” — but really just went into a giant account — is nearly dried up, and he must rely on new donations.

Given that Trump didn’t spend the money to fight “the steal,” could almost prove that Trump knew he lost?

Perhaps, but it won’t be admissible proof, too tenuous. It does show something, though. But if I was the judge, I wouldn’t admit it.

It really does show that Trump is in trouble. He will have too little coming in to cover legal bills that are about to triple, if not quadruple, as trials come close and the campaign really gets going.

Trump may have to dip into his fortune…

Is he confident there is more private money coming in than going out on that one, too?

He might need a loan.

“Vladimir! ‘Sup, BFF! How’s it going? Yeah, I know, not perfect, lots of people falling out of buildings. But I need a favor, though.” 

Vlad would likely wait to see if Trump won the election. After all, he probably doesn’t like dipping into his own funds unless it’s on something fun.

This column is based on original reporting from Maggie Haberman, Shane Goldmacher of The New York Times.

I can be reached at and on Twitter at @JasonMiciak.

Editor’s note: This is an opinion column that solely reflects the opinions of the author.

Jason Miciak

Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing. Sign up to get all of my posts by email right here: