The Republican National Committee is paying some of Donald Trump’s personal legal fees in New York, where prosecutors are investigating his company’s financial dealings, according to a report in The Washington Post.
The RNC has directed $121,670 to the law firm of Ronald Fischetti, a defense attorney hired by Trump earlier this year.
According to The Post, the RNC is willing to financially support Trump because they believe the multiple investigations he’s subject to in New York are politically motivated.
“As a leader of our party, defending President Trump and his record of achievement is critical to the GOP,” the party said in a written statement to The Post. “It is entirely appropriate for the RNC to continue assisting in fighting back against the Democrats’ never ending witch hunt and attacks on him.”
More from The Post:
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has come under pressure from some members to show more independence from Trump, but the majority of her 168 members continue to support the former president, party officials say. The party held a fundraiser in the spring at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate, where Trump spoke, paying the club almost $200,000. McDaniel has stayed in regular touch with Trump. Her allies say that Trump remains the biggest fundraising draw for the party, and it is important to stay in his good graces.
Trump’s net worth is $2.5 billion according to Forbes. He raised $82 million dollars in the first half of 2021 alone and has at least $102 million in various PACs. One of his PACs spent nearly $8 million in legal fees trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election and fend off his second impeachment. Neither effort was successful.
Daniel Wessel, the deputy communications director of the Democratic National Committee tweeted “RNC donors finding out they’re still paying the legal fees of the man who lost them the House, Senate and White House I’m sure will go over well. Trump’s the leader of their party, after all.”
Craig Engle, head of the political law group at the law firm Arent Fox, told The Post that political parties often pay the legal fees of politicians when the matter in question involves their official duties. But Engle said connecting the New York inquiries to Trump’s role in government “seems like a real stretch.”
Not-for-profit companies like the RNC are prohibited from using funds to benefit their leaders.