Vance defends Trump over donations spent on legal fees: “The ‘Trump paid $40m in legal fees’ attack is so lame.”

Posted on Jul 31, 2023


Sen. J.D. Vance is hitting out at the campaign of Gov. Ron DeSantis after a spokesperson whacked former President Trump for spending small dollar donors’ money on tens of millions of dollars in legal fees.

Vance followed up:


Vance certainly has a point about the costs of defending litigation in America– or even not defending it and simply taking a lawyer with you to comply with a subpoena. However, he seems to be missing a key question: Why is a self-professed billionaire unable to fund the legal costs of his employees directly, rather than needing to have small dollar donors– many of whom are poorer and/or retired– finance the cost?

One of the overarching trends in former President Trump’s business life is that of shirking responsibility for bills. This is why more than a few political consultants, lawyers and others have refused to work for him: There is a lower chance of getting paid than with other prospective clients. This is also part of why he is as wealthy as he is. It’s not so much business acumen (though admittedly, Trump is extremely good at marketing his own brand and cashing in on his name); it’s a lot of good, old-fashioned Scrooge-type practices with regard to his personal finances.

Vance is right that employees should not have to cover their legal costs themselves– especially the lower-level ones who likely have precious little in savings from which to be paying a lawyer. But this is a different situation to where a big company like, say, Ford gets sued and the company bears the cost of its employees’ legal defenses/legal compliance fees. In that case, the people fronting the cash ultimately are the shareholders or the bank banks that lend to them. Grandmothers donating away their Social Security checks to Trump are not shareholders, or big banks. Nor do they have the financial resources that either group– or Trump– has.

Vance’s defense seems pretty lame, as Trump’s own behavior here.

Finally, it’s worth noting that DeSantis’ attack seems to have drawn blood, eliciting this exceptionally weak response from the Trump team that neither really punches back nor justifies the behavior DeSantis is complaining about.

As Trump might have said back in the day, “SAD!”