Trump Paying Legal Fees With Re-election Money

By on October 17, 2017
Donald Trump

According to its filings with the Federal Election Commission, the Trump campaign is spending about 10 percent of its donations on legal fees relating to the ongoing Russia investigation.

The eldest Trump isn’t the only one getting financial assistance with legal matters, either. Some of the money is also being used to help pay Donald Trump Jr.’s, legal costs as well. Trump Jr. has been in hot legal water since it was revealed he took a meeting last summer with individuals connected to the Russian government who promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton. All told, Trump Jr.’s legal costs have made up almost a quarter of the total legal fees associated with the Russia probe.

The Trump camp has also been getting help from the Republican National Committee, but the RNC has mechanisms in place to ensure that low-level donations from most everyday Americans don’t go to funding legal defense. Typically it’s the larger donors who end up footing that bill.

According to CNN, however, the Trump campaign doesn’t compartmentalize its money in the same fashion.

The RNC system means that legal expenses are largely funded by the party’s wealthiest donors who contribute to the legal fund to comply with campaign finance limits while also cutting six-figure checks. The Trump campaign, it appears, can draw as much from those who make the maximum contribution as from those who send in $10 and $50 checks to fund legal expenses.

“What this means is that people who are giving to help re-elect Trump are actually paying for legal fees — and that money will not be there during the election,” said former FEC counsel Larry Noble.

With special counsel Robert Mueller continuing to expand his probe into Trump’s business ties and potential Russian collusion, these costs will continue to mount. This is why the President has been holding massive rallies and pushing to build his re-election fund so soon. It isn’t so he can get a jump start on his next political race; it’s so he can con rank-and-file GOP voters into paying his legal bills.