Trump Campaign Spends $8.8 Million in Effort to Overturn Vote
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s campaign spent $8.8 million on the legal challenges to the Nov. 3 election in various states, including $2.7 million in legal fees, according to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission.
The largest outlay was a $3 million payment to the Wisconsin Elections Commission for a partial recount in two populous counties. The recounts did not change the result.
More than 30 of the legal payments were dated on or before Election Day, the earliest being on Oct. 26. The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The spending was a fraction of the $207.5 million Trump and his allied committees have raised since the Nov. 3 election fueled in part by his insistence that the vote was marred by widespread fraud.
A $30,000 payment to Jenna Ellis is the only outlay listed to his highest profile legal defenders, the self-described “strike force team.” Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Trump advocate Sidney Powell, both of who have filed various lawsuits on Trump’s behalf, are not listed as being paid by the campaign.
Trump did spend money to make money, including $2.2 million to his own media firm for text message fundraising pitches.
The campaign made two payments to American Made Media Consultants, its in-house firm that acts as a clearinghouse for advertising expenditures, on Nov. 12 totaling $2.2 million and labeled “Recount: SMS Advertising,” a reference to text messages. Campaigns have to disclose the purpose of expenditures as well as the date and the dollar amount.
The law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres LLP, which also represented Trump during the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, received $600,000. Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, which had been the lead firm representing Trump’s campaign in its Pennsylvania court challenges until it withdrew on Nov. 13, was paid $302,688. Statecraft PLLC, a Phoenix law firm that led unsuccessful litigation in Arizona, was paid $190,859.
Trump paid the Philadelphia firm Marks & Sokolov LLC $161,842. Founder Bruce Marks, a Republican, was the plaintiff in a federal suit that overturned a 1993 special election for a State Senate seat after a federal judge ruled that fraudulent absentee ballots had tilted the election to Marks’s Democratic rival.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.