“Transparency is meant for the government, not for private individuals,” says @Koch_Industries head lobbyist.
*of course the gov't has granted tax exempt status to — & recognized a public interest in regulating — the organizations to which these private individuals are donating. https://t.co/sRNOGXcFEq
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) July 17, 2018
President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign has spent about $835,000 in legal fees so far this year, or about 22% of its total spending, according to the latest fundraising reports filed quarterly with the Federal Election Commission.
The spending comes as Trump deals with the intensifying special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as an ongoing legal battle with adult film star Stormy Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford.
The campaign’s legal consulting spending went to at least eight different firms and the Trump Corporation. The bulk of the spending, about $350,000, went to Jones Day, which has represented the campaign since the 2016 election, including any litigation related to it.
Two others firms — Harding LLP and Larocca, Hornik, Rosen, Greenberg & Blaha, which are involved in the legal fight with Daniels — were paid a combined $280,000.
Using campaign funds to pay for the president’s mounting legal fees related to Daniels and the Russia investigation means that the money small-dollar donors are giving to the president’s campaign isn’t all going toward traditional reelection efforts like ads, campaign staff payroll, and fundraising.
The shit is beginning to hit the fan:
WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort’s notes from a controversial Trump Tower meeting with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign included the word “donations,” near a reference to the Republican National Committee, two sources briefed on the evidence told NBC News.
The references, which have not been previously disclosed, elevated the significance of the June 2016 meeting for congressional investigators, who are focused on determining whether it included any discussion of donations from Russian sources to either the Trump campaign or the Republican Party.
It is illegal for foreigners to donate to American elections. The meeting happened just as Trump had secured the Republican nomination for president, and he was considered a longshot to win. Manafort was the campaign chairman at the time.
Manafort’s notes, typed on a smart phone and described by one briefed source as cryptic, were turned over to the House and Senate intelligence committees and to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. They contained the words “donations,” and “RNC” in close proximity, the sources said.
If, as has long been rumored, McConnell and Ryan backed Trump in exchange for illegal Russian donations, this is going to get very interesting.