By Fredreka Schouten, CNN
The Republican National Committee is paying some of former President Donald Trump’s legal bills, using donor funds to help pay a lawyer representing him in a New York investigation into his company’s business practices, records show fundraiser and a party spokesperson.
The RNC made two payments totaling $ 121,670 to Fischetti and Malgieri LLP in October, according to the committee’s recent report to the Federal Election Commission. Ronald Fischetti, firm partner and criminal defense lawyer, represents Trump in a criminal investigation into the business practices of the Trump Organization.
Fischetti did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment. Trump’s aides also did not react immediately.
The Washington Post first reported the payments.
An RNC spokeswoman said in a statement that its “executive committee has approved the payment of certain legal fees related to politically motivated lawsuits against President Trump.”
“As the leader of our party, standing up for President Trump and his achievements is essential for the GOP,” she added. “It is only fitting that the RNC continues to help fight the Democrats’ endless witch-hunt and attacks against it.”
The Democratic National Committee quickly took hold of the declaration, asserting for its part that “the RNC said it best: Donald Trump leads the Republican Party”.
“Ronna McDaniel and the Republican National Committee are using their donors’ money to fund Trump’s personal legal defense when he has hundreds of millions of his own money as well as campaign funds,” the spokeswoman said. Adonna Biel in the press release. “This is today’s GOP, a party that will do anything for a divisive and incompetent ex-president that has cost their party the House, Senate and White House and thousands of Americans their lives and their livelihoods. If we were the RNC donors, we would certainly ask questions.
New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office is investigating the Trump Organization and its executives as part of a large-scale investigation to determine whether it improperly inflated asset values to obtain loans and insurance or whether it lowered values to pay less taxes.
James’ office partnered with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office earlier this year and announced an indictment accusing the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, of carrying out a tax evasion scheme on 15 years old.
This story was updated with additional details on Monday.
The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
CNN’s Kara Scannell contributed to this report.
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