[Fox News] Republican rival Chris Christie tells Trump to ‘sell Trump Tower’ to help cover reported $40M in legal fees

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GOP presidential candidate and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told former President Trump to “sell Trump Tower” to offset some of his legal fees, rather than dip into campaign funds.

“The fact is when you look at just his campaign filing yesterday … most of the money that middle class Americans have given to him, he spent on his own legal fees. I mean this guy’s a billionaire, and how about go down the street – maybe just sells Trump Tower and pay for his legal fees that way,” Christie said during an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Tuesday. “Or maybe sell the plane, he could do that, or one of the golf courses. But instead, he’s taking $25, $50, $100 from everyday Americans who believe they’re giving it to him to help elect him president, and he’s paying his legal fees. And one of the most astonishing ones yesterday was $108,000 for Melania’s stylist, and they called that political strategy consulting.” 

New campaign finance disclosures made public ahead of Monday night’s filing deadline show Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, burned through at least $42.8 million this year, much of it used to cover costs related to his mounting legal peril faced by Trump, his aides and other allies, leaving him with $31.8 million cash on hand. 

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Trump’s network of political committees spent roughly $25 million on legal fees, according to The Associated Press. 

The Washington Post reported that Save America, the former president’s PAC, was expected to disclose about $40.2 million in legal spending. That would bring the PAC’s post-presidential legal spending to about $56 million, as Trump faces a federal indictment in Florida over the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago and unrelated state charges in New York brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Trump also faces potential additional criminal indictments as soon as this week in Washington, D.C., from Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 probe, as well as Georgia, regarding efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. 

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To help offset his growing legal bills, Trump’s allies are launching a new fundraising effort. The Patriot Legal Defense Fund is intended to defray costs for those “defending against legal actions arising from an individual or group’s participation in the political process,” according to a filing made last month with the IRS. 

The group will be run by Trump campaign senior advisers Susie Wiles and Michael Glassner.

“The weaponized Department of Justice and the deranged Jack Smith have targeted innocent Americans associated with President Trump,” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said, according to the AP. “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.” The fund was first reported by The New York Times.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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