The Republican National Committee has paid nearly $200,000 in legal fees for President Donald Trump’s eldest son in connection with the Russia investigation, a committee official said Tuesday.
More than $166,000 was paid to Donald Trump Jr.’s attorney, Alan Futerfas. Another $30,000 went to the law firm of Williams & Jenson, which helped prepare him for testimony. The RNC official insisted on anonymity to discuss financial information not yet made public.
The RNC is expected to release its August spending totals Wednesday, but that report will not include the spending on Trump Jr.’s legal fees. Those figures will appear on the committee’s September report, the official said.
Trump Jr.’s attorneys’ fees were paid for out of the “legal proceedings account,” a pre-existing account that high-dollar donors to the party knowingly contribute to. The payments were not taken from the party’s general fund and will not reduce party spending on political work, the official said.
Trump Jr. recently testified in private to Senate investigators that he did not collude with Russia to damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign against his father.
Congressional investigators and Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller want to learn more about a June 2016 meeting Trump Jr. had at Trump Tower in New York with a Russian lawyer as part of their separate but broader inquiries into links between the Trump campaign and Russia.
U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russia tried to influence the election to help Trump win.
Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, now a senior adviser to the president, also attended the June 2016 meeting.
As of mid-July, Trump’s presidential campaign had spent almost $1 million on legal fees this year, according to a campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission. That included a $50,000 charge for Futerfas’ law firm. The payment was made shortly before news reports about the younger Trump’s Russia meeting.
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