Mother Jones: The GOP Is Footing Trump Jr.’s Legal Bills. Is That Legal?


The Republican National Committee is shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars for legal bills incurred by President Donald Trump’s son—and that’s an unprecedented and legally questionable move, campaign finance experts say.


“It pushes the envelope,” said Larry Noble, general counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group. “It fits into a framework of them using all sorts of means to spend the money of others.”


Noble, meanwhile, speculated that if the payments to Trump Jr. are challenged, the FEC will likely allow them, because his legal expenses resulted from work he did to aid his father’s campaign.

Still, he pointed out that the legal fund “is supposed to be for election challenges, not for defending the president’s son over allegations that arose out of the election.”

Donors can now give to the RNC’s legal fund in the hope they will aid the Trumps—and that the the president and his family will see the public donations, Noble noted. It is striking, he said, that a president who touts his personal wealth is hitting up contributors for his legal costs—and those of his son.

“We’re dealing with someone who claims he’s worth billions of dollars,” he said. “Does he really want to be in the position of soliciting money to pay his legal fees?”

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