President Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign reportedly continues to spend millions on legal fees defending against various civil claims brought against them, including just over half a million dollars spent after the election win.
Politico reported on Thursday the results of its analysis of the campaign’s legal bills, finding the enormous amounts were not always paid transparently or in a timely manner. The news outlet reviewed various court records, campaign filings, and FEC records that they say show approximately $4 million in “legal fees” and “legal consulting” have been paid out by the campaign in relation to a number of lawsuits filed during the 2016 election season.
By way of comparison, records show the Trump campaign’s total is more than double what the Obama campaign spent on lawyers fees at this point in his first term.
The Trump campaign’s main law firm, Jones Day, seems to have seen a majority of the money, reportedly at least $3.3 million. However, there are other firms that have gotten in on the action as well. On the other hand, the campaign is also said to be late on some bills to other firms and had failed to fully disclose all settlement payments it has made in some cases. The campaign also allegedly reported lump sum settlements in two cases as “legal consulting.”
According to the report, the majority of the money stems from lawsuits that involve allegations of assault or other threatening behavior by members of the campaign team or supporters in various states. There were multiple reports of such behavior throughout the campaign. Protesters were allegedly roughed up at campaign rallies and the former state director of the Trump campaign in North Carolina was accused of pulling a gun on a staffer.
An election law attorney interview by Politico, Brett Kappel, said this pattern appears to be typical of the Trump Organization’s way of handling lawsuits.
“Basically, the Trump campaign was run just like the Trump Organization,” Kappel said. “Lawsuits are met with bluster and invective,” then settled in a hush-hush manner with famously tight Trump nondisclosure clauses “so that the public would not know that Trump, in fact, does settle many of the lawsuits against him and his family members.”
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