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Trump groups head into 2022 with $122 million on hand

Former President Trump's various political committees have amassed a war chest of more than $122 million heading into the midterm election year, after raising about $51 million in individual contributions in the second half of 2021. 

Overall, these groups under Trump's control have spent $30.4 million — including $350,000 on the 2022 candidates he's endorsed against mainstream Republican candidates and incumbents.

Their spending over the second half of 2021 includes payments to legal firms representing aides who have been subpoenaed by the House January 6 select committee, consulting firms run by former Trump administration and campaign officials and donations to Trump-endorsed candidates. Trump's political groups also spent $345,000 at various Trump properties for rent and hosting events. 

Save America PAC received the bulk of the total donations and reported $85.2 million raised in 2021, mainly through the Save America Joint Fundraising Committee. The third Trump political group is the Make America Great Again PAC. 

"From the massive and unprecedented Save America Rallies, to these record-breaking fundraising numbers, there is no question that the MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN (MAGA!) wave is set to crash across the Midterms and carry forward all the way through 2024," said Trump's communications director, Taylor Budowich. 

Save America PAC spent $7.7 million from July to December 2021, with at least $1.33 million paying for advertisements on Facebook. Event Strategies, Inc., an event management company, received more than $1.49 million from the PAC. The Conservative Partnership Institute, which is a group run by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, received $1 million. 

The PAC also donated $350,000 in total to many political campaigns, with $205,000 going to federal campaigns, including at least three House Republican candidates challenging incumbents who voted to impeach Trump after the January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol. The PAC is allowed to contribute up to $5,000 to federal candidates. 

The former president's PAC has also donated a combined $145,000 to several state-level candidates whom he has endorsed, including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue, who is primarying incumbent Republican Governor Brian Kemp. 

Trump's PAC has also contributed to candidates who have spread his unfounded claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, including Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, Arizona state Senator Wendy Rogers, Arizona Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem, Michigan Secretary of State candidate Kristina Karamo and Michigan Attorney General candidate Matthew DePerno. 

In the second half of 2021, there were also $104,500 in payments to law firms representing Trump aides subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the January 6 attack. Abel Bean Law P.A., a firm representing Budowich, received $29,500 from the PAC. Brand Woodward Law, who represents former White House deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, got $25,000. JP Rowley Law PLLC represents conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell, who helped advise Trump in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election in various states. They received $50,000 from the PAC.

Firms headed by two of Trump's campaign managers in 2020, Brad Parscale and Bill Stepien, received more than $120,000 combined from the PAC. 

Rapid Loop Consulting, led by James Blair, an adviser to Trump's campaign in Florida and a former deputy chief of staff to Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, got $60,000. Belmont Strategies LLC, a political consulting firm led by Donald Trump Jr. aide Andrew Surabian, also received $60,000. 

Trump's Make America Great Again PAC spent about $1.4 million dollars in the second half of 2021 paying legal and consulting fees associated with election recounts. Trump's three groups spent more than $1.3 million on legal fees in the second half of 2021. 

While Trump has posted massive fundraising hauls, the Republican National Committee has covered some of Trump's personal legal bills from cases investigating his private business. Trump's PACs are not allowed to spend on his personal fees or his campaign — only on other candidates' campaigns.

From October through December 2021, the RNC paid $171,670 to the law firm of Trump attorney Ronald Fischetti, who is representing the Trump Organization in a Manhattan District Attorney case alleging tax fraud and evasion. It has also paid $328,287 to Susan Necheles, an attorney representing a subsidiary of the Trump Organization, and $200,000 to the Van Der Veen, Hartson, & Levin law firm.  

"As a leader of our party, defending President Trump and his record of achievement is critical to the GOP. It is entirely appropriate for the RNC to continue assisting in fighting back against the Democrats' never ending witch hunt and attacks on him," RNC spokeswoman Emma Vaughn told CBS News in December.

The "Make America Great Again, Again!" super PAC, which is meant to support Trump-endorsed candidates "who have proven to be fighters of the MAGA movement," raised more than $10 million since October 2021. Its filing showed payments to several former Trump aides that now serve on the committee's board: $28,165 to Trump impeachment lawyer Pamela Bondi, $7,709 to former Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, and $7,880 to former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. 

Save America PAC, the Make America Great Again PAC, and the Make America Great Again, Again! super PAC all spent a total of at least $357,977 on Trump-owned businesses, including expenses for his Mar-A-Lago club in Florida and the Trump Hotel collection, as well as rent payments for Trump Tower and Trump Restaurants. 

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