Copyright ©2018 Guacamoley. All rights reserved.

The Republican National Committee Paid Over $200,000 For Trump’s Russia Legal Fees Last Month

The Republican National Committee Paid Over $200,000 For Trump’s Russia Legal Fees Last Month
Updated 8 months ago

What's that maxim among the wealthy? Something like, "you don't get rich by spending money." President Donald Trump seems to have taken that to heart when it comes to his mounting legal fees. The Republican National Committee reports payments in excess of $230,000 to cover Trump's legal fees related to the ongoing investigation into alleged collusion with the Russian government during the 2016 election.

Trump’s campaign also reported spending $678,000 in “legal consulting” between April and June. 

In a July interview with Washington radio station WMAL, RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel (niece of Mitt Romney) was asked if the RNC would be covering Trumps legal expenses. Romney McDaniel said:

First of all, I don't even know if that's legal, if we would even be allowed to do that. So there's just nothing that I can comment on on that front right now.  So that would have to go through the lawyers first before it would come to us.

The question of legality may be murky, but constituents are clearly unhappy:

According to RNC spokeswoman Cassie Smedile, who spoke with The Hill, the payments “have been paid with funds from a pre-existing legal proceedings account and do not reduce by a dime the resources we can put towards our  political work.” 

The legal proceedings account was created by Congress two years ago as a separate vehicle to allow party committees to raise additional funds independent from the main campaign coffers, and allows contributions of up to $100,200. The original intention of the funds was to help pay the legal expenses of actions like election recounts, but the newly established fund has no clear guidelines governing it's use.

Larry Noble, senior director at the Campaign Legal Center, clarified that as long as Trump is paying legal fees for areas of the investigation focused on his campaign, it's legal for him to use campaign contributions towards that purpose.