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Haley goes after Trump’s legal expenses yet again

Nikki Haley wants Donald Trump to pay a political price for his legal problems — before the start of the general election.

Haley took a swing at Trump over his legal woes Tuesday evening, after the New York Times reported that political committees aligned with the former president spent roughly $50 million to cover his legal bills last year.

“Another reason Donald Trump won’t debate me… His PAC spent [$]50 MILLION in campaign dollars on his legal fees,” Haley posted on X (formerly Twitter). “He can’t beat Joe Biden if he’s spending all his time and money on court cases and chaos.”

The $50 million, according to the Times, is around the same amount that Haley – Trump’s only remaining high-profile opponent in the Republican primary – raised across her committees last year. POLITICO has not independently verified the figure.

It’s the second time in recent days that Haley has used Trump’s mounting legal fees as a line of attack — a notable escalation as the campaign moves to her home state of South Carolina. Last week, she went after the former president after a jury ordered him to pay $83.3 million to the writer E. Jean Carroll over defamatory remarks he made about her while he was president in response to her rape accusation against him.

“Donald Trump wants to be the presumptive Republican nominee and we’re talking about $83 million in damages,” Haley wrote on X in the wake of the verdict. “We’re not talking about fixing the border. We’re not talking about tackling inflation. America can do better than Donald Trump and Joe Biden.”

Appearing on Meet the Press this Sunday she said she “absolutely” trusted the jury’s verdict in that case.

A spokesperson for Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Haley has steadily ramped up her attacks against Trump as the field has narrowed. With just the two of them remaining, she’s begun more aggressively focusing on Trump’s legal baggage. It’s a topic many former primary opponents declined to touch, fearful that the former president would use it to rally Republican voters behind him.

The former South Carolina governor has done it largely in a way that has side-stepped the specifics of Trump’s dozens of indictments while focusing on the distractions they pose.

“Chaos follows him,” she often says, when asked whether the charges or the allegations that Trump incited a riot at the U.S. Capitol should disqualify him from returning to the White House.

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Author: POLITICO