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RNC covering more than $230000 in Trump legal fees

RNC covering more than $230000 in Trump legal fees”

President Donald Trump is using funds donated to his re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee to pay the team of outside lawyers representing him in the various probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Disclosures through the end of June show Trump's campaign made a $50,000 payment to the law firm of the attorney representing Donald Trump Jr., dated nearly two weeks before news reports that he took a June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer who had promised damaging information about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Sources were described as "two people familiar with the matter".

While previous presidential campaigns have used these funds to pay for routine legal matters such as ballot access disputes and compliance requirements, Trump would be the first USA president in the modern campaign finance era to use such funds to cover the costs of responding to a criminal probe, said election law experts.

The Trump campaign sent $538,264 in the second quarter of 2016 to Jones Day, its legal counsel, as the Russian Federation investigation intensified.

John Dowd, Trump's lead outside attorney, was a bit more tart when Reuters asked about how Trump was covering his legal bills, saying only: "That's none of your damn business".

Trump is able to use campaign funds because he did not accept public financing for the campaign.

The Trump campaign spent almost $700,000 in legal consulting fees - or about 15.5% of the campaign's expenses between April 1 and June 30, according to the latest Federal Election Commission report. Its next report is due at the Federal Election Commission on September 20.

Private campaign funds can be used to pay legal bills, but typically the money covers routine matters such as ballot access disputes, according to Reuters.



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