Trump campaign sees surge in donations after indictment
(CNN) -- Former President Donald Trump raised a combined $18.8 million in the first quarter of 2023 through his joint fund raising committee and his campaign -- and saw a spike in donations after being indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on March 30.
The campaign told CNN it also raised $15.4 million in the two weeks after charges were filed against the former president, showing how much his supporters have rallied around Trump after learning of the indictment.
The Trump campaign said the fund raising figures suggest his legal woes have benefited him both politically and financially -- at least in the short term -- and energized his base as he continues to campaign for his third shot at the presidency.
Politico first reported Trump's first quarter fund raising numbers.
Trump's campaign previously said on March 31 that it had raised $4 million in the 24 hours since his indictment was first announced. The former president has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony criminal charges of falsifying business records.
During the first quarter, from January 1 to March 31, Trump received a total of 541,971 donations, according to the figures provided by his campaign. The average donation was roughly $34.
Comparatively, Trump received 312,564 donations in the two weeks after charges were filed against the former president, beginning on March 30, with the average donation totaling roughly $49.
Prior to the indictment, the former president was bringing in roughly $168,000 per day between January 1 to March 30. It's unclear whether the boost the Trump campaign says it received since his indictment will continue into the second quarter.
The former president has been raising money for his 2024 presidential bid through both his campaign and his political action committee, Save America PAC. Filings Saturday night with the Federal Election Commission show that $14.4 million of the first-quarter haul went to Trump's main campaign account.
The figure lags behind the $30 million he raised during the first quarter of the 2020 election cycle, when he still occupied the Oval Office.
In all, the Trump campaign spent $3.5 million in the first quarter and had $13.9 million in cash on hand as of March 31.
More than $727,000 of his campaign dollars during the three-month period funded payroll, filings show. A little more than $488,000 went to TAG Air Inc. -- the Trump-owned company that operates his airplanes.
Other Republicans who have announced their 2024 candidacies include Nikki Haley, a former United Nations ambassador and ex-South Carolina governor, whose campaign has said she collected $11 million in the six weeks since she launched her bid on February 15. She ended March with $7.8 million in the bank, according to her campaign.
Another South Carolinian, Republican Sen. Tim Scott -- who announced a presidential exploratory committee on Wednesday, after the end of the first quarter -- reported Saturday that he had nearly $22 million remaining in his Senate campaign account as of March 31. That's money Scott could transfer directly into a presidential campaign account.
Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who declared his bid for the GOP nomination in February, loaned his campaign $10.25 million and raised about $1.2 million from contributors through March 31. He had nearly $9.4 million in cash on hand at the end of the quarter, his FEC filing shows.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to launch a 2024 GOP presidential bid, has built a sizable war chest through his state-level fund raising committee. Friends of Ron DeSantis has more than $85 million remaining in its coffers, recent state records show.
He faces restrictions on the use of that money for a presidential bid, but it could potentially be transferred to another committee backing his candidacy.
Already, a pro-DeSantis super PAC, Never Back Down, which launched in March, has announced that it had raised $30 million as of early April. The group recently launched what its organizers say will be a seven-figure advertising buy, highlighting DeSantis' biography and record as Florida governor.
Details on Trump's fund raising after the first quarter ended on March 31 won't be disclosed to regulators for several months.
On Friday, the former president filed his personal financial disclosure report with the FEC -- offering the public a first look at his post-presidential finances. The 101-page report provided some new insights into Trump's finances since he left office, including his social media business venture, and last year's sale of digital trading cards known as NFTs, or non-fungible tokens.
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