Trump campaign racks up legal fees as Russia probes grow
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign spent more than $1 million in legal fees in the last three months, coinciding with a spike in intensity from Russia investigators.
The spending on lawyers is detailed in the latest campaign finance disclosure by the president’s re-election campaign. It amounted to roughly one quarter of the $4.1 million the president’s re-election campaign spent in the last three months.
The vast majority of spending — $800,000 — went to the law firm Jones Day, which is representing the Trump campaign. Another $238,000 was paid to Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer, Alan Futerfas. Jones Day also handles election and campaign finance issues for the Trump campaign, and the campaign filing does not specify how much of that money was spent defending clients in the Russia probe.
The total spent this year on legal fees by Trump’s campaign now comes to almost $2 million, according to public filings.
The spending comes as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators has begun interviewing current and former White House officials in their probe, including former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. Meanwhile, Trump campaign officials and others have been turning over tens of thousands of emails and documents to federal and congressional investigators.
The spending also covers the three-month span this summer that started with revelations that Donald Trump Jr. had met in June 2016 with a Russian lawyer and others who had promised to deliver dirt on Hillary Clinton as a part of a reported Kremlin effort to help Trump’s campaign.
The Trump campaign has not yet paid for any of Trump’s personal lawyers, according to campaign filings. The Republican National Committee paid $230,000 to John Dowd and Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal lawyers in the probe. Ty Cobb, another member of the president’s legal team, is employed by the White House.