Former President Donald Trump has turned his recent legal troubles into a fundraising boon, reportedly raising $9.4 million less than a week after surrendering to authorities in Georgia.
Trump’s mugshot, taken as part of an investigation into alleged election interference, has been emblazoned on campaign merchandise and used to galvanize support from his base.
In a statement released by the Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee, Trump said, “Since the moment my mugshot was plastered all over the Internet in a vicious attempt to wrongfully turn me into a criminal, our movement has RAISED $9 MILLION from grassroots patriots like YOU.” The statement also noted that the day of his surrender in Georgia marked the “SINGLE GREATEST FUNDRAISING DAY EVER” for his campaign.
The Trump campaign reportedly sold 36,000 T-shirts, 24,000 coffee mugs, and 8,600 posters bearing the former president’s mugshot, raising nearly $3 million from that merchandise alone. This brings the total fundraising for August to over $20 million, according to Fox News Digital.
The funds raised from the mugshot merchandise are earmarked for political and campaign activities, not for covering Trump’s legal expenses. Despite facing multiple indictments since leaving office, Trump continues to deny any wrongdoing and has leveraged these criminal cases into fuel for his campaign.
For instance, following Trump’s first indictment in Manhattan over alleged hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels, the Trump campaign reported a $5 million haul in the first 48 hours and $10 million over five days.
Despite the legal cloud surrounding his potential candidacy, Trump holds a nearly 41 percentage point lead in the GOP presidential primary race, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polls. This indicates that Trump’s legal woes have not deterred his base and might even be contributing to his fundraising success.