Donald Trump sells private jet to Republican donor amid cash squeeze | Donald Trump

With more than $500m in court fines on his back, Donald Trump has sold one of the two private jets he owns to a major Republican donor.

According to FAA records, the former US president transferred ownership of the 1997 Cessna Citation X on 13 May. While it is unclear how much he sold the plane for, the private aviation company evoJets estimates a Citation X costs about $8.5m to $10m.

While FAA records do not name an individual who now owns the plane, the agency lists a Dallas-based holding company called MM Fleet Holdings LLC as the owner of the plane.

The Daily Beast tied the company to Mehrdad Moayedi, an Iranian American real estate developer in Dallas.

FEC records show that Moayedi donated nearly $250,000 to Trump’s re-election campaign in 2019 and 2020. Records show that he has also donated millions to other campaigns, including to Ted Cruz’s Senate re-election campaign and to the Republican National Committee.

Trump’s website still boasts the Cessna Citation X as a “rocket in the sky” that also allows “for entry into smaller airports”. Trump still owns his Boeing 757, his main jet emblazoned with his name, along with a small fleet of helicopters.

The extra cash for Trump will probably help him pay off his various court entanglements. Earlier this year, Trump spent over $200m paying off fines from two civil cases earlier this year. The first was a defamation case from the writer E Jean Carroll, in which Trump was ordered to pay $83.3m. The second was a civil fraud trial that ended in a $454m fine.

In March, a Manhattan appeals court agreed to allow Trump to pay $175m – just a portion of the $454m as the fraud case is under appeal. Trump has said he has about $500m in cash, with the rest of his assets tied up in real estate holdings.

Though Trump was able to pay the appeals bonds for both cases, and will get the money back entirely if his appeals are successful, the cases are just two on Trump’s court docket.

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Trump is also facing a criminal trial for covering up hush-money payments during the 2016 election and is working through three other criminal trials. In total, the former president faces 88 criminal charges and is paying hefty legal fees to fight them.

According to the New York Times, Trump has paid more than $100m in legal fees for the cases that have put him in court. While Trump has mostly used donations into political action committees, known as Pacs, to pay the fees, the money has been running out, and Trump’s legal bills continue to rack up. While Trump can tap into his 2024 campaign funds to pay the legal fees, the more he has to pay his lawyers means less money to spend on swaying voters.

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