RNC paying some Trump legal bills
The Republican National Committee (RNC) is reportedly paying some of former President Trump’s personal legal bills.
The Washington Post, citing a party spokeswoman, reported on Tuesday that the RNC last month made two payments to the law firm of Ronald Fischetti, the defense attorney who was hired by Trump in April. The payments reportedly totaled $121,670.
The veteran defense attorney is representing Trump in the probes led by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. (D) and New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), the Post noted. It is not clear, however, that the investigations relate to Trump’s tenure in the White House or activities during his campaign.
An RNC spokesperson confirmed to The Hill in a statement on Tuesday that the group’s Executive Committee approved paying for certain legal fees “that relate to politically motivated legal proceedings waged against President Trump.”
The requests for payment were made over the summer but the committee ultimately voted to cover the expenses in recent weeks, an unidentified source told the Post.
The committee ultimately decided to help the former president cover the legal expenses because of comments James made indicating that she sought to investigate Trump, the newspaper reported, citing a person familiar with the RNC’s decision.
The committee, however, is reportedly not contributing to the legal fees for other investigations targeting Trump, including his battle over requests from the House select committee probing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The panel has subpoenaed a number of individuals who were close to the president during his time in office, but Trump has argued that their testimony and relevant documents are protected by executive privilege.
An RNC spokesperson told The Hill in a statement that “defending President Trump and his record of achievement is critical to the GOP,” calling him “a leader of our party.”
“It is entirely appropriate for the RNC to continue assisting in fighting back against the Democrats’ never ending witch hunt and attacks on him,” the committee added.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) spokeswoman Adonna Biel said the RNC is now “a party that will do anything for a divisive and incompetent ex-president who cost their party the House, Senate, and White House and thousands of Americans their lives and livelihoods.”
“If we were the RNC’s donors, we would certainly be asking questions,” DNC spokesperson Biel added.
Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich told the Post that “the RNC is our important partner in advancing America First policies and fighting back against the endless witch hunts,” adding that “the Democrats have become obsessed with weaponizing their offices against President Trump, which is a complete abandonment of their Constitutional obligations.”
Last month was not the first time the RNC helped pay for some of Trump’s legal bills. When Trump was in office, the committee covered fees for lawyers to represent Donald Trump Jr. in the investigations related to Russian interference in the 2016 election, he Post noted.
The Hill reached out to Trump for comment.
Updated at 3:13 p.m.