Trump team setting up legal defense fund for Russia probe: report
President Trump’s campaign has reportedly hired a law firm to set up a legal defense fund for costs incurred by staffers ensnared by the special counsel investigation or other legal fees.
A document from the Wiley Rein LLP law firm posted on the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) website describes the “Patriot Legal Expense Fund,” which would provide financial support to any individual who “was an employee, consultant, fundraiser or volunteer” of Trump’s 2016 campaign.
It’s unclear how much money is currently in the fund or who runs it, but the Trump campaign made a payment of $10,000 to the Wiley Rein firm last year for “legal consulting,” according to ABC News.
The document does state, however, that the funds cannot be used for legal fees incurred by Trump or his immediate family members.
“The fund will help many of us that never anticipated being in this situation,” one former campaign official who remained anonymous told ABC.
The fund was allegedly created with the knowledge of the White House, with the provision that it could be used to help current members of the White House while complying with ethics concerns.
Several members of Trump’s campaign have been ensnared by the ongoing special counsel investigation into Russia’s election interference. Last year, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about their contacts with foreign officials.
Meanwhile, former campaign chair Paul Manafort and his business associate Richard Gates await trial for money laundering, tax fraud and other charges uncovered by Robert Mueller’s prosecutors. They have pleaded not guilty.
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