Trump's Russia probe lawyer broke the law when donating to his re-election campaign: report
Trump lawyer John Dowd (Photo: Emory University)

John Dowd, the lawyer defending Donald Trump during the Russia investigation, broke campaign finance law by donating more than is legally permissible to the president's re-election campaign.

CNBC reported Wednesday that Dowd in 2017 donated $3,000 to Trump's 2020 campaign — $300 above $2,700, the legal limit an individual can donate to a campaign.

In a letter obtained by CNBC, the Federal Elections Commission put Trump campaign treasurer Bradley Crate on notice over Dowd donating more than is legally allowed.

Crate told CNBC that Dowd had been given a $300 refund on January 3, but it was sent "a few days too late to be reflected in their fourth quarter filing to the FEC."

"These kinds of errors are understandable when made in the midst of a hectic election season by a rookie campaign," Brendan Fischer, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, told CNBC. "But they become more difficult to understand when made by a second-term presidential candidate 32 months out from his next election."

"It is even more difficult to understand how the president's lawyer managed to exceed contribution limits," Fischer concluded.