Speed Reads

By the numbers

Trump's campaign spent $1 million on legal fees last quarter

President Trump's campaign raised $11.6 million in the third quarter of 2017, Federal Election Commission filings published Sunday revealed. During the same period, the organization spent $1 million — one dollar of every four the campaign spent that quarter — on legal fees.

The legal expenditures primarily went to two firms, Politico reports. One is tasked with general defense of the campaign against legal challenges, like the lawsuit alleging Trump incited violence at a campaign rally in Kentucky. Another firm on the campaign payroll is representing Donald Trump Jr. in connection to the federal investigations into Russian election meddling.

To put the Trump outfit's spending in context, the Obama campaign spent $2.8 million on legal fees between the 2008 election and early 2011, which averages out to less than $300,000 per quarter. More broadly, presidential campaign legal spending has been on a steady upswing for years. In 2008, for example, then-candidates Barack Obama and John McCain together spent more than double what John Kerry and George W. Bush paid in 2004. Obama's 2012 campaign was still paying off its legal debt in 2015.