Posted September 20, 2017, 11:16 am CDT
The Republican National Committee has paid more than $427,000 to lawyers for President Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr.
Spokeswoman Cassie Smedile said the fees are being paid from a pre-existing legal account “and do not reduce by a dime the resources we can put towards our political work,” the Washington Post reports. Reuters and CNN also have stories.
The disclosure follows a report that Trump was using donations to the RNC and his own re-election campaign to cover his legal bills in the special counsel probe of Russian influence with donations. Private campaign funds can be used to pay legal bills, but typically the money covers routine matters such as ballot access disputes.
The RNC reported that it paid $100,000 to Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, and $131,250 to Jay Sekulow, another lawyer on Trump’s legal team. The RNC also paid nearly $200,000 to lawyers who helped Donald Trump Jr. prepare for Senate testimony, including $166,000 to attorney Alan Futerfas.
Legislation in 2014 created the RNC legal account. Donors are allowed to give three times more to special funds than they can give to the main political fund, according to the Post.