As the Russia investigation is growing expensive for U.S. President Donald Trump, his campaign has stopped paying legal bills for Donald Trump Jr. The President’s advisors are reportedly planning to set up a defense fund, as the Trump campaign’s legal bills have already surpassed $2 million this year.
The Trump campaign has stopped paying legal bills for the President’s son, Donald Trump Jr, a person familiar with the campaign’s legal spending told Bloomberg on Monday. The news comes as the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election shows no sign of going away.
The Trump’s campaign has spent nearly $288,000 for Donald Trump Jr in legal bills this year alone. According to Politico, citing a recent filing to the Federal Election Commission by the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, nearly $238,000 were paid to Alan Futerfas, who represents the President’s oldest son. Separately, the campaign paid $30,000 to the law firm Williams & Jensen, which also represents Trump Jr.
But the Trump campaign is now setting up a defense fund to cover the costs for Donald Trump Jr and other campaign staffers linked to the investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the Bloomberg source said.
However, details about the fund remain vague, as it’s unclear how it would be administered, and who would be eligible to receive funds. The source also said the campaign has yet to be determined whether President Donald Trump or the Trump Organization could finance the defense fund.
The fund could exclude some of the Trump campaign’s key staffers, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was recently charged with money laundering. Also, former campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contact with Russians, would most likely be excluded from the fund.
With no end in sight for the Russia probe, legal bills associated with the costly investigation are expected to mount in 2018. The decision to set up the legal defense fund stems from the limits placed on the Trump campaign. The campaign is limited in how much it can spend per staffer between 2017 and 2020, while the fund would have no such limits.
Last Friday, White House lawyer Ty Cobb told Bloomberg that President Donald Trump had recently started paying his own legal bills related to the Russia probe, which could exceed $1 million. The President’s legal bills had previously been paid by the RNC, which spent over $230,000 on Trump’s attorneys.
In a report published by the Washington Post on Sunday, White House officials close to Trump said the President believes that the Russia probe will soon come to an end. The investigation picked up steam on Monday, with the special counsel Robert Mueller requesting the Justice Department to hand over thousands of documents related to the firing of former FBI director James Comey.
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