Investigation Begins into Trump’s Suspicious $44 Million Legal Payments

by Jessica
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Prosecutors are launching an investigation into former President Donald Trump’s political operation after a new analysis by OpenSecrets revealed that it paid over $44 million to lawyers and law firms representing potential witnesses and codefendants in his ongoing legal cases since 2020.

According to the report published on Friday, September 22, 2023, this massive sum constitutes approximately half of the operation’s total legal expenses during that period.

The payments made by Trump’s political network to lawyers and law firms representing individuals involved in the former president’s legal troubles have raised concerns regarding potential witness tampering.

Trump’s history of allegedly attempting to influence witnesses adds weight to these concerns, with instances ranging from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe to his first impeachment, as well as the growing number of ongoing legal cases.

In a recent filing, the district attorney’s office in Fulton County, Georgia, which is prosecuting Trump and 18 co-defendants in an election interference case, provided a list of potential witnesses, several of whom have been represented by lawyers or law firms paid by Trump’s political network.

Federal court records, unsealed on September 15, shed light on Trump’s tendency towards retaliation and characterized his payment of legal fees for “potential witnesses against him” as an “obstructive effort.”

The special counsel’s office articulated its concerns, stating, “This pattern of obstructive conduct amply supports the district court’s conclusion that the former President presents a significant risk of tampering with evidence, seeking to influence or intimidate potential witnesses, and ‘otherwise seriously jeopardizing’ the Government’s ongoing investigations.”

Trump is now facing allegations of witness tampering in multiple ongoing cases.

In a notable incident in August, a key potential witness in the Mar-a-Lago document retention case retracted their previous false testimony after the Justice Department raised concerns about a potential conflict of interest with their initial lawyer, who was representing both the witness and another defendant in the case.

The witness, identified as Yuscil Taveras, an information technology worker at Mar-a-Lago, had previously been represented by lawyer Stanley Woodward, whose firm received $376,000 from Trump’s political network.

Woodward also represents other possible witnesses, including Mar-a-Lago employee Walt Nauta, and figures such as Jan. 6 rioter Ryan Samsel and Oath Keeper Kelly Meggs.

Furthermore, Woodward’s firm has represented former White House advisor Peter Navarro, who was convicted on September 7 for failing to comply with subpoenas issued by the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.

These concerns are not limited to a single law firm, as several others have also represented Navarro and received payments from Trump’s political network.

In total, Trump’s political network has directed approximately $130 million in donor funds to cover legal expenses since his initial presidential campaign, with over $50 million of that amount spent since the start of 2022.

While Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign is the most directly linked to him, his political operation encompasses his leadership PAC, joint fundraising committees, and super PACs operated by Trump allies.

Many law firms have received substantial payments from Trump’s political network, including Jones Day, Jesse Binnall’s firm, Elections LLC, Silverman Thompson Slutkin, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, and McGuireWoods.

In addition to legal fees, Trump’s political network has also paid compliance firm Red Curve Solutions nearly $4 million, raising questions about its involvement in former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s job offer around the time of her testimony before the House January 6th committee.

While Trump has covered legal costs for some of his allies, several codefendants in the Georgia case have resorted to crowdfunding to finance their legal representation, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This includes Jenna Ellis, John Eastman, Jeffrey Clark, Cathy Latham, and Rudy Giuliani, who has also faced legal fee challenges in various cases related to his role as Trump’s personal attorney.

As investigations continue, Trump’s political operation faces increasing scrutiny over its substantial legal expenditures and their potential impact on ongoing legal proceedings involving the former president and his associates.

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