Donald Trump Spent $24M in Legal Fees, Lost Business Fighting Russia Claims

Donald Trump said he spent more than $24 million dollars and lost business dealings while fighting allegations his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential race.

The former president made the claim in a lawsuit filed against his 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton, a number of other Democrats, and leading FBI officials claiming they orchestrated an "unthinkable plot" to accuse him of working with Russia in order to rig the election in his favor.

The suit was filed in the District Court for the Southern District of Florida more than five years after Trump beat Clinton in the 2016 election.

The document claims that Trump sustained "significant injuries and damages" such as defense costs, legal fees and related expenses defending against the Democrats' "tortious actions, false accusation, and overall fraudulent scheme to discredit and delegitimize him" ahead of the 2016 election.

The filings said the total cost Trump accrued in relation to the Russia collusion claims is so far $24 million and "continuing to accrue, as well as the loss of existing and future business opportunities."

Trump is seeking $72 million in damages with the lawsuit— triple the amount the former president states he lost in legal fees fighting the allegations.

"The actions taken in furtherance of their scheme—falsifying evidence, deceiving law enforcement, and exploiting access to highly-sensitive data sources—are so outrageous, subversive and incendiary that even the events of Watergate pale in comparison," the suit said.

In a one-word statement, Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill told Newsweek that the suit was "nonsense."

The allegations that the Trump campaign worked with Russia to help them win the 2016 election was the subject of a sprawling investigation by then special counsel Robert Mueller.

The long-awaited Mueller report ruled that there was no evidence that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

However, the report did not fully exonerate Trump as Mueller found several examples of the then president allegedly attempting to commit obstruction of justice and hinder the investigation.

As well as Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey is also named in the lawsuit. Mueller listed Trump's firing of Comey in May 2017 while he was leading the agency's investigation into alleged Russia collusion as one of the ways Trump may have attempted obstruction of justice.

In 2020, a Republican-led U.S. Senate committee found that Russia used former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the WikiLeaks website tried to help Trump win the 2016 election, which the Kremlin (and Manafort in 2016) denied.

In a statement to Newsweek, Trump's attorney Alina Habba accused the Clinton campaign of "spreading lies to weave a false narrative" that Trump was colluding with Russia.

"For years, Hillary Clinton and her cohorts attempted to shield themselves from culpability by directing others to do their dirty work for them," Habba added. "This lawsuit seeks to hold all parties accountable for their heinous acts and uphold the principles of our sacred democracy."

Update 03/25/22, 9:56 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with comment from Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill.

donald trump lawsuit
Donald Trump stops to speak to reporters as he prepared to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on January 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. The former presidetn claims he lost $24 million fighting Russia collusion allegations in a lawsuit filed against Hillary Clinton. Pete Marovich/Getty Images