“In situations where a third party may pay all or part of the attorneys` fees on behalf of a client we represent, we provide independent legal advice to our client, we are loyal to our client, and we always serve the best interests of our clients,” Abel told CNN. But they also said his CAP`s incessant email and SMS calls have contributed to burnout among smaller donors who might otherwise send more of their disposable income to contests. These donors, a GOP fundraiser said, are “informed that they are engaged in a fight against the Democrats,” but rather “helping Trump fight his legal troubles.” Some of Trump`s small donors have reached out to the former president`s office to say they`d like to donate more, but can`t afford it after so many requests. Ron Kaufman, treasurer of the RNC and a longtime member of the Massachusetts committee, also defended the use of party resources for election-related and election-related prosecutions. The majority of statutory payments go to the attorneys representing him in the Mar-a-Lago documents case. The RNC has so far paid three law firms on Trump`s behalf, paying $328,000 to NechelesLaw LLP, $200,000 to van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin, and $172,000 to Fischetti & Malgieri LLP. The Washington Post reported that the RNC has agreed to pay up to $1.6 million of Trump`s legal bills. But Chlopak said that if Trump declared a candidacy in 2024 and were to form another committee of candidates, the FEC would be stricter on using campaign funds for more personal legal fees. She said they would check on a case-by-case basis to see if it counts as “personal.” The Republican National Committee has also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover Trump`s personal legal fees. The party explained the unusual deal, first revealed by The Washington Post last fall, calling the investigations politically motivated. However, experts say the GOP`s recent payments of Trump`s legal fees after he left the White House for investigations unrelated to the upcoming presidential campaign are a highly unusual move, underscoring the former president`s continued influence on the party. AO 2018-03Use of campaign funds and voluntary legal services regarding lawsuits filed by voters seeking an earlier special election These payments are authorized because Save America is a leadership PAC with few restrictions on the use of funds.
These committees can not only promote like-minded candidates, but can also be used to pay consultants, cover travel expenses, and cover legal fees, among other things. Vaughn defended the decision by saying, “Spending money to ensure states comply with laws that govern the administration of elections, including reasonable measures such as observation and bipartisan polling of elections, is a significant investment that our donors and supporters are passionate about.” She also said the lawsuit was necessitated by the county`s refusal to disclose relevant documents, which officials said they were doing. The Save America PAC has also made payments to several attorneys in other court cases involving Trump, including the Fulton County District Attorney`s investigation, whether Trump and his allies illegally attempted to overturn the 2020 presidential election. In response to questions about using the donations to cover the former president`s legal bills, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich accused Democrats of “arming taxpayer dollars with false investigations and baseless cases to intimidate and silence Republicans.” “The legal norm is when personal expenses would exist independently of the applicant – such as divorce proceedings or a speeding ticket. The answer to the question of whether this applies to [the Mar-a-Lago case] is a close decision because it is closely tied to his status as president,” she said. In addition to covering numerous Trump bills, the RNC has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to support lawsuits across the country “to ensure the integrity of our elections,” RNC spokeswoman Danielle Alvarez said. Chlopak said that while leadership PACs should not be used for “out-of-pocket expenses” such as personal legal bills, the FEC has not subject leadership PACs to these rules. CNN`s tally examined the legal fees paid this calendar year by PAC Make America Great Again and Trump`s main political vehicle, Save America PAC. The filings do not show which specific lawyers in the firm received payments, and the filings do not explain what the law firms did for the Trump committees, other than the general description of “legal advice” or “legal fees.” In October and November alone, the Republican National Committee spent nearly $720,000 of its donors` money to pay law firms that represent Trump in various legal challenges. including criminal investigations into his New York businesses, according to campaign finance documents.