Trump PAC pays lawyers nearly $1 million amid investigations in Georgia and New York

Former President Donald Trump’s Save America political action committee paid nearly $1 million to civil and criminal defense lawyers in July alone as investigations into him and the Trump organization heated up, according to a new FEC document prepared by the PAC.

And Trump’s legal bills could rise even more this month and beyond following an FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago resort residence in Florida as part of a criminal investigation into his seizure of presidential papers from the White House. House when he left office in January 2021.

Trump is also facing criminal investigation in Georgia, where a special grand jury is gathering testimony and evidence related to his and his allies’ efforts to overturn President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory in that state.

Trump’s Save America Political Action Committee has become the former president’s leading GAC, keeping White House veterans like Dan Scavino and Lynn Patton on the payroll.

Save America, which has more than $99 million on hand according to the FEC, is asking donors for money it says will be used to protect conservative values ​​and fight Biden.

The money is also being used to pay Trump’s legal bills, which is allowed by the lenient rules governing the use of PAC funds.

A Trump spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the payments.

An FEC document released this weekend shows that PAC paid 12 different law firms and companies $963,682 in legal fees in July.

That’s more than $400,000 in PAC legal expenses in June and nearly $200,000 more than the organization spent on such services in April.

One of those law firms, Habba Madaio & Associates, received more than $486,000 in payments from PAC in July, according to the filing.

Alina Habba, a partner in this small New Jersey firm, is the lead lawyer representing the Trump organization in a civil investigation being conducted by the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James.

James is investigating allegations that the Trump Organization has improperly manipulated reported valuations of various real estate assets for financial gains, such as better credit and insurance terms, and tax breaks.

Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than 440 times earlier this month because he refused to answer questions from James’ lawyers during court-ordered testimony in this investigation. Two of his adult children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, were ousted by the James team in July.

In July, Save America paid veteran Trump criminal defense attorney Alan Futerfas $184,743, according to a statement from the FEC.

Footerfas represented Donald Jr. and Ivanka in the James investigation. He also represents the Trump organization in the prosecution by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

The company, which denies wrongdoing, is due to appear in court this fall on charges related to its alleged 15-year tax evasion scheme to compensate senior officials at the Trump Organization.

Last Thursday, former CFO Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty to multiple tax fraud charges in the case and agreed to testify against the Trump Organization in court. Weisselberg will serve five months in prison and pay more than $2 million in taxes as part of this plea deal.

Save America’s third-largest legal payment last month was $100,000 to Drew Findling, an Atlanta-based criminal defense attorney best known for representing hip-hop artists including Cardi B and Faith Evans. Findling was also once president of the National Criminal Lawyers Association.

Findling, who once called Trump a “racist” in a tweet, has been hired to represent the ex-president in Fulton County District Attorney Fanny Willis’ criminal investigation into efforts to cancel Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.

Among other activities, Willis oversees Trump’s Jan. 2, 2021 phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state’s top election official. In that phone call, Trump urged Raffensperger to “get 11,780 votes” to overturn Biden’s victory.

Trump denies any wrongdoing in Georgia and has called Willis’ investigation, likely of James and the Manhattan District Attorney, a “witch hunt.”

Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who led efforts to overturn Biden’s victory, has been named the subject of a Wallis investigation.

Giuliani showed up last Wednesday for more than six hours before a special grand jury in Atlanta, which is gathering evidence behind closed doors on this investigation.

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