Former President Donald Trump’s team is creating a legal defense fund to help offset some of the enormous bills incurred as his legal troubles mount, two sources familiar with the planning told CNN.
The fund is expected to cover the bills of some of Trump’s current and former aides and employees who have been wrapped up in various investigations into the former president. Trump’s political action committee, Save America, spent more than $40 million on legal fees for him and many of his associates since the start of 2023.
The new fund will be called the Patriot Legal Defense Fund Inc., according to the sources, and will be led by Trump associate and adviser Michael Glassner.
A Trump spokesperson blamed “the weaponized Department of Justice” and special counsel Jack Smith for targeting “innocent Americans associated with President Trump.”
“In order to combat these heinous actions by Joe Biden’s cronies and to protect these innocent people from financial ruin and prevent their lives from being completely destroyed, a new legal defense fund will help pay for their legal fees to ensure they have representation against unlawful harassment,” the spokesperson told CNN.
The New York Times first reported the expected creation of the fund.
Smith filed new charges on Thursday against the former president, his aide Walt Nauta and a third defendant, Carlos De Oliveira, in the case alleging Trump mishandled classified documents after leaving the White House. The new charges included allegations that Trump and his employees attempted to delete Mar-a-Lago security footage sought by the grand jury. Both Nauta and De Oliveira are being represented by attorneys paid for by Trump’s operation.
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Earlier this year, Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on more than 30 counts related to business fraud. He also faces potential charges in the special counsel’s grand jury investigation into the lead-up to January 6, 2021, as well as an investigation by the Fulton County district attorney’s office in Georgia relating to attempts by him and his allies to overturn the state’s 2020 presidential election result.
Trump has expanded his legal team in light of the mounting legal battles he is facing.
This story has been updated with additional information.