Trump is being investigated by the New York attorney general, and the Republican Party is covering some of the cost.
Doing business with Donald Trump is a good way to get stuck with the bill. The Republican National Committee is learning that lesson. After throwing its weight behind Trump over the course of the last four years, the political organization admitted that it is paying for Trump’s personal legal fees related to ongoing criminal investigations into his companies.
According to The Washington Post, the RNC has already shelled out multiple payments totaling $121,670. Both of the payments were directed to the law firm of Ronald Fischetti, which has been given the unenviable task of defending Trump. It seems like the RNC is all too happy to keep cutting checks, too. “As a leader of our party, defending President Trump and his record of achievement is critical to the GOP,” the party said in a statement to the Post. “It is entirely appropriate for the RNC to continue assisting in fighting back against the Democrats’ never-ending witch hunt and attacks on him.”
This could go on for quite some time, as the investigation by the New York attorney general’s office into the Trump Organization’s shady past business dealings and questionable finances is still ongoing. The company’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, was indicted for felony tax fraud earlier this year. Weisselberg’s attorney said that more indictments are expected in the coming months. Earlier this week, prosecutors in New York revealed an investigation into how the Trump Organization has valued different properties over the years, alleging an attempt to manipulate their way to tax breaks.
Trump is absolutely in the crosshairs, and he has been fighting tooth and nail to keep company documents out of the hands of investigators — and out of sight of the general public. He now appears to have the financial support of the RNC to keep up that fight. Which, honestly, how goddamn embarrassing.
There was an opportunity for a clean break with Trump when he lost the 2020 presidential election. It was made all the more clear when Trump and his backers started circulating election fraud conspiracies that have been repeatedly disproven and pushed for audits that have shown exactly zero evidence that the election was stolen. Actually, it’s worse than that: In Arizona, the multi-million dollar recount showed that Joe Biden won by more votes than was originally reported.
Of course, the most obvious time for the RNC to cut bait on Trump was after the Jan. 6 insurrection attempt that the president sparked. But no, instead of disavowing or even just pretending that it never happened, prominent Republicans have just gone all-in on the nonsense, pretending that the attack on the Capitol was peaceful and the insurrectionists were just well-intentioned citizens. They’ve tagged along on the election fraud claims. Hell, the RNC hosted a fundraiser at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate months after Trump literally incited a riot.
Now the party is funneling some of the money it raised right back into Trump, defending his shady dealings in his private life because they can’t even feign distancing themselves from the man. But that’s just the price of doing business with Donald.