By Alexandra Ulmer
(Reuters) -Hotelier Robert Bigelow told Reuters on Tuesday he gave Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump $1 million for his legal fees and agreed to donate another $20 million to a pro-Trump outside group for campaign purposes.
“I gave him $1 million towards his legal fees a few weeks ago. I made a promise to give him $20 million more, that will be to the super PAC,” Bigelow said in an interview.
Trump faces four pending criminal cases this year, including two over his efforts to reverse his 2020 presidential election loss, one over his handling of classified documents upon leaving office and another over his hush money payments to a porn star.
Bigelow said he felt Trump was being unfairly targeted in the criminal cases, and that his sympathy towards Trump had motivated the donation. The Justice Department says it acts without political bias.
Bigelow’s major donation, which had not been previously reported, shows how Trump can still count on certain deep-pocketed donors as he battles unprecedented, costly legal problems in the midst of his presidential campaign.
Trump is the runaway frontrunner to clinch the Republican presidential nomination to face Democrat Joe Biden in the November general election.
However, his costs are rapidly mounting.
Trump was hit last week with an $83 million verdict in a defamation case brought by writer E. Jean Carroll, and a judge is set to rule any day now on the New York Attorney General’s request for $370 million in penalties for his misrepresentations to banks about his net worth.
Bigelow, who is based in Nevada, said he had dinner with Trump on Monday night at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.
“It was supposed to be one hour. It was over two hours. And we still ran out of time,” Bigelow said, declining to provide details of their conversation.
(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer. Additional reporting by Jack Queen. Editing by Ross Colvin)
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