The Republican National Committee is footing some of former President Donald Trump’s legal bills in connection with investigations by city and state prosecutors into the Trump Organization’s financial dealings.
An RNC spokesperson told The Post that its Executive Committee had approved “paying for certain legal expenses that relate to politically motivated legal proceedings waged against President Trump.
“As a leader of our party, defending President Trump and his record of achievement is critical to the GOP,” the spokesperson added. “It is entirely appropriate for the RNC to continue assisting in fighting back against the Democrats’ never-ending witch hunt and attacks on him.”
According to the Washington Post, which first reported on the RNC’s move, the committee made two payments totaling $121,670 to the law firm of Trump lawyer Ronald Fischetti last month in response to requests made over the summer.
Fischetti was hired by Trump in April to represent him amid the investigations by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance and New York state Attorney General Letitia James.
According to the Washington Post, the RNC was willing to foot Trump’s legal bills after James vowed during her 2018 campaign to become AG that she would “use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well.”
The current investigation stems from testimony to Congress by Michael Cohen, Trump’s onetime personal attorney, who stated that his client exaggerated the value of his financial assets in order to help secure more favorable terms on loans and insurance policies.
In June, Trump’s son Don Jr. accused James of leading a “political persecution”, while the former president himself has called the investigation a “continuation of the worst witch hunt in American history.”
In July, longtime Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg pleaded not guilty to charges of tax fraud, conspiracy, grand larceny and falsifying business records. The Trump Organization and the Trump Payroll Corp. were hit with similar charges and have also pleaded not guilty.
The RNC’s assistance of Trump does not extend to any other investigations or court battles, such as his clash with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol. The RNC is also not covering legal fees for any Trump Organization employees or any of Trump’s other companies.
Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich defended the collaboration.
“The RNC is our important partner in advancing America First policies and fighting back against the endless witch hunts,” Budowich told the Washington Post. “The Democrats have become obsessed with weaponizing their offices against President Trump, which is a complete abandonment of their Constitutional obligations.”
Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for additional comment.
The Democratic National Committee slammed RNC chair Ronna McDaniel Tuesday, accusing her and the RNC of “using their donors’ money to finance Trump’s personal legal defense while he sits on hundreds of millions of his own money as well as campaign funds.”
“This is today’s GOP,” continued the statement from DNC spokesperson Adonna Biel, “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.”
Trump is widely expected to run for president again in 2024 and has teased a formal announcement after next year’s midterm elections.