Questions raised about legality of Trump moving 'eye-popping' amount of cash to new PAC
Donald Trump (Photo by Olivier Douliery for AFP)

According to a report from the Daily Beast's Roger Sollenberger, Donald Trump has moved an "eye-popping" amount of cash from one of his PACs to a newly formed one -- and that has campaign finance experts asking questions about what he plans to do with it and if he is attempting to skirt election finance laws.

As the report notes, the former president created a new super PAC, called Make America Great Again Inc, and, on Oct. 3, transferred $20 million from one of his existing PACs and another $8.9 million from another to it.

This, in turn, has set off alarm bells from government watchdogs who wonder what Trump -- who has been known to use donations to pay personal expenses -- is up to.

According to Sollenberger, "Super PACs can spend unlimited amounts of money to support candidates, so on its face, the donation could be said to be a generous contribution from Trump to the MAGA cause during a critical election. But as a number of campaign finance experts explained, the specifics here suggest Trump is really trying to get around laws that would otherwise prevent him from spending his personal stash on a 2024 presidential run."

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"The only thing Trump cannot do with the millions and millions of dollars he’s raised into his leadership PAC is support himself. The only plausible explanation for this move is to convert that money to be spent on his own campaign,” explained attorney Paul S. Ryan, an expert in campaign finance law.

Documented deputy executive director Brendan Fischer suggested Trump is shifting money around in order to provide cover if he spends the cash on himself in a presidential run.

"Once Trump becomes a candidate, it would clearly be illegal to transfer Save America funds to a super PAC. But Trump appears to be trying to manufacture deniability by making the transfers now, and by having MAGA Inc. spend some amount in the 2022 midterms," he explained. "That way, Trump’s team might argue that Save America gave to MAGA Inc. to support Trump-endorsed candidates, and it just so happened that the super PAC ended up with leftover money that it independently chose to spend backing Trump’s 2024 run.”

Attorney Ryan explained, "Moving the money suggests he wants to spend it on himself. It’s illegal, but that seems to be the motivation and he will likely get away with it,” with the Beast's Sollenberger adding, "Ryan was referring to federal laws that restrict candidates from coordinating with super PACs on fundraising and spending efforts—a charge that is notoriously difficult to prove."

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