Payments to a law firm representing former President Donald Trump made by the Republican National Committee are raising a few eyebrows among Republicans who worry about the party's priorities in the face of upcoming elections, CNN reports.
"This is not normal," said a former top RNC official.
The payments to Fischetti and Malgieri LLP totaled $121,670 were first reported by the Federal Election Commission this Monday. The firm was hired by the Trump Organization amid the Manhattan District Attorney's investigation into Trump's finances.
According to a spokesperson for the RNC, the committee "approved paying for certain legal expenses that relate to politically motivated legal proceedings waged against President Trump," and defended the payments as "entirely appropriate" as the party "continue[s] assisting in fighting back against the Democrats' never ending witch hunt and attacks on [Trump]."
But some RNC members and donors say the party is forgetting its own neutrality rules. "Some of these same officials who spoke to CNN also questioned why the party would foot the legal bills of a self-professed billionaire who was sitting on a $102 million war chest as recently as July and has previously used his various political committees to cover legal costs," CNN reports. "According to FEC filings from August, the former President's Make America Great Again committee has paid Jones Day more than $37,000 since the beginning of the year, while his Make America Great Again super PAC has paid a combined $7.8 million to attorneys handling his lawsuits related to the 2020 election."
"We sure as heck could have used $121,000," national committeeman from New Jersey Bill Palatucci told CNN.
"We were in the middle of hand-to-hand combat trying to win and those resources could have helped here. It just speaks for itself of what the priorities were," Palatucci added.
Read the full report at CNN.