Trump allies form new legal defense fund

Trump allies, led by longtime Trump adviser Michael Glassner, are creating a new legal defense fund, according to a person with direct knowledge of the plans. 

The group will be called the Patriot Legal Defense Fund Inc., and its focus will be on paying legal bills not for Trump and his family, but for Trump's allies and staffers. The group's creation comes as the former president and some of his associates are embroiled in multiple criminal investigations and cases.

The group is not a part of the Trump 2024 campaign and is separate from Trump's leadership PAC, Save America, which has already spent over $40 million on legal fees for Trump and associates so far this year. Save America doesn't offer a breakdown of how much has been spent on any individual, or which investigations are involved. 

Earlier this year, the Trump campaign noted in fine print that it was increasing the percentage of supporters' donations it sent to Trump's Save America PAC from 1% to 10%, as the New York Times first reported in June — a signal of how expensive Trump world expects these legal fights to be. 

The president's sprawling legal landscape entails charges in an alleged "hush money" scheme in New York and criminal charges over his handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. Trump has pleaded not guilty in both cases. The former president could also be facing more indictments. He said on social media earlier in July that he received a target letter from special counsel Jack Smith related to the Jan. 6 investigation and alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, a claim confirmed by multiple sources. 

And in Fulton County, Georgia, a grand jury may soon consider whether Trump, his associates and so-called "fake electors" who allegedly sought to reverse the state's Electoral College vote should be charged over alleged attempts to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 presidential election.

The former president insists he's innocent in all of the investigations and cases, casting blame on state and federal prosecutors as "politically motivated." 

Glassner was the chief strategist for Trump's 2020 campaign and deputy campaign manager for Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

—Kathryn Watson contributed to this report  


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