Donald Trump: Billionaires raise money for bail payments

He who has rich friends is rich. To help Donald Trump pay his bail, some US billionaires are apparently opening their money boxes.

Some financially strong supporters of the Republicans in the USA have collected money to pay a security deposit for US presidential candidate Donald Trump worth 454 million dollars (almost 420 million euros). This was reported by three people familiar with the matter to the Reuters news agency.

American billionaire and hedge fund founder John Paulson and oil and gas tycoon Harold Hamm were involved in the scheme, said the people, who did not want to be identified. After the decision of an appeals court in New York, fundraising was no longer necessary.

Paulson, the founder of Paulson & Co, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Hamm, the founder of oil company Continental Resources, was asked by telephone about his involvement but appeared to hang up. A spokesman for Hamm did not respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

When contacted, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said there had been no coordinated fundraising effort. Trump has “more than enough money” to pay for the security deposit himself.

Billionaires are also donating to Donald Trump's election campaign

Billionaires Paulson and Hamm are both involved in an upcoming campaign fundraiser for Trump that is unrelated to the Trump bond effort. The invitation for the event lists Paulson as host and Hamm as co-chair. The money collected will be used to support the presidential candidate's election campaign, the Republican national leadership committee and an organization that has already covered part of Trump's legal fees.

Trump has discussed making John Paulson his treasury secretary as president, according to another person familiar with the matter.

In mid-February, Trump was sentenced to pay $354.9 million (around €327 million) plus interest, which is continually added up. He was given 30 days on February 23 – until March 25 – to provide that amount or a security deposit. The judge found it proven that the ex-president had overstated his assets in order to defraud lenders. However, a few hours before the deadline, an appeals court ruled that the Republican did not have to provide security for $454 million by midnight, as ordered by a lower court. Instead, he has ten more days to raise security of now 175 million dollars (around 161 million euros). As in all of his legal proceedings, Trump denies any guilt.