Trump has set up a legal defense fund for his White House that gives Russians and other illegal donors the ability to cover his legal fees.
“One rule of the Patriot Fund, it seems, is you don’t talk about the Patriot Fund,” Walter Shaub wrote in the Los Angeles Times of President Trump’s legal defense fund that can, it seems, take money from Russia.
Trump legal defense fund is actually a political organization
Donald Trump didn’t set up the Patriot Fund as traditional legal defense fund. Trump’s Patriot Fund is a political organization that is set up as an LLC, which as Shaub put it, “The 49-page charter is a lush garden of legal formalities that conceal the fund’s minimal consideration of ethical safeguards. No firewall prevents the president from bending the manager’s ear about who should or shouldn’t receive the fund’s largesse. Nor is the manager required to seek any guidance from ethics officials to determine if donations come from prohibited sources.”
Donors are not vetted, but it is all done on the honor system. In other words, Russians could funnel money into the legal defense fund for Trump and his White House and are there no firewalls in place to stop them. This isn’t a bug, but a feature. Trump intentionally set up a legal defense fund that he can manipulate, control, and take money from any source.
Trump is turning legal defense into graft
Trump has gone so far as to use his legal defense as a source of potential personal profit. Remember, Trump has created a lawless defense fund. There is nothing stopping the president from raiding his defense fund for his personal bank account or campaign spending. There is a systematic pattern of corruption and the undermining of ethical practices in this White House, but few are as blatantly egregious as the legal defense fund that Russia can pay for.