Trump’s Fund-Raising: From Sluggish to Surging After Indictment

Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign took in $14.4 million in the first three months of 2023, part of an $18.8 million haul across his two campaign committees this quarter — a modest sum that captures only the beginning of a fund-raising bonanza set off by his indictment in late March.

In the weeks since then, Mr. Trump has raised more than $15 million, his campaign said Saturday ahead of its quarterly filing with the Federal Election Committee — including at least $4 million in the 24 hours after The Times reported his indictment on March 30.

A more thorough accounting of Mr. Trump’s post-indictment fund-raising will not be available for months, when the next quarterly filing is due. Still, the latest numbers show that the case against Mr. Trump gave a jolt of energy to his efforts to raise campaign funds, which had been sluggish out of the gate, drawing more than 300,000 individual donations, a vast majority of which were under $200, his campaign said.

Mr. Trump had a head start in fund-raising against his current and potential rivals for the Republican nomination, but perhaps more significant is the way his base has rallied around the former president after his indictment, which many of his supporters see as politically motivated.

Steve Cheung, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Trump has raised most of his money through his Save America Joint Fundraising Committee — $14 million of the campaign’s recorded haul in the first quarter was transferred from the committee. The campaign said the total raised by the two committees was $18.8 million.

Mr. Trump’s campaign reported $13.9 million cash on hand as of March 31.

The Trump campaign has used his joint fund-raising committee not merely as an umbrella group to disburse funds, but also to pay some campaign expenses, according to that committee’s most recent filings, in January. The committee has also transferred funds to a separate committee, called Save America, that has supported Mr. Trump’s political activities.

The overlapping patchwork of committees that has become standard for presidential candidates can at times cloud a campaign’s financial picture. This was the case Saturday with the presidential campaign of Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador.

Ms. Haley’s campaign had said it raised $11 million in the first six weeks of her presidential run. But when three committees tied to her campaign filed their disclosures on Saturday night, it appeared that number may have double-counted funds transferred between them.

Her joint fund-raising committee, Team Stand for America, took in $4.4 million and transferred $1.8 million to her campaign committee, Nikki Haley for President, which reported an additional $3.3 million in contributions. Team Stand for America also transferred $886,000 to her leadership PAC, which itself raised $600,000 more.

The campaign appears to have double-counted those two transfers, a total of $2.7 million, making the actual haul about $8.3 million. A super PAC backing Ms. Haley does not have to file a report until July — the PAC reported $2 million on hand at the end of 2022.

A spokeswoman for Ms. Haley’s campaign said Saturday night that the campaign had followed the precedent set by other candidates in their filings. A representative for the F.E.C. did not respond to a request for comment.

Ms. Haley’s campaign is not the first to count funds transferred between committees as part of an overall haul: Mr. Trump’s campaign did it in 2021.

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