New Shock Filing: Trump Spent $2 Million on Attorneys for 1/6 Committee Witnesses

The fact that Trump’s PAC was paying attorneys to represent witnesses in front of the House Select Committee has long been known and understood to be a problem. Now, new filings show it was and remains an even bigger problem than we imagined. Trump’s PAC spent $2 million on attorneys’ fees to do nothing more than represent witnesses in what was typically one Congressional deposition.

From the Daily Beast’s shocking report linked below:

It’s been widely reported that former President Donald Trump has covered legal expenses for witnesses testifying before the Jan. 6 committee, but the full amount that Trump has been forking over has largely remained a mystery.

A new federal filing has fleshed that number out. And it turns out, it’s a lot higher than previously reported. Trump’s latest Federal Election Commission report indicates that payments from his political committees to firms representing Jan. 6 witnesses are now approaching $2 million.

The figure goes to the breadth of representation more than the depth, the total number of witnesses that Trump’s PAC must be covering to reach such a figure. After all, to repeat, this isn’t to prepare for a trial or even negotiate a large business contract or merger. Representing witnesses in front of the Committee could only involve negotiating the time, location, and subject matter, perhaps two meetings with the witness to hear what the witness knows and identify any areas in which the witness might face some criminal exposure (and thus refuse to answer and assert the 5th Amendment), and then accompany the witness to the hearing. Such representation shouldn’t require much more than a low five-figure bill for any one witness, even in Washington DC.

Of course, the concern is that the attorneys paid out of Trump’s PAC are working as much to protect Trump as they are the client. After all, we know that it was only after Cassidy Hutchinson fired her Trump-paid-for attorney and got her own that we heard the truth. It is possible that Trump wants to pay legal fees for as many witnesses as possible and have the attorneys coordinate the testimony, which would be illegal and a breach of ethics.

But even before this number emerged, Trump’s patronage was already raising concerns among Democrats and legal experts that the ex-president is—once again—trying to exert influence over witnesses who could have information implicating him in possible criminal activity.

With respect to these specific concerns, Cassidy Hutchinson could – again – prove to be an invaluable witness. Perhaps it is too much to ask of any one person, especially a person who isn’t already a powerful figure in Washington politics, and yet Hutchinson could describe the difference in the “advice” she was getting from the Trump World attorney versus the attorney she herself hired to protect her, Cassidy Hutchinson, rather than the fate of the ex-president.

 

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