Trump’s legal fees | Republican National Committee member tries to stop party from paying

(Columbia) At least one member of the Republican National Committee (RNC) is working to slow Donald Trump’s attempted takeover of the organization by pushing for the committee to remain neutral until Trump is officially the presidential candidate and to avoid taking over his legal bills.

Two draft resolutions are being distributed by Henry Barbour, a national committeeman from Mississippi, for consideration during the RNC’s next meeting in March in Houston. Mr. Barbour said RNC members were increasingly supportive of the resolutions, but he did not yet have the necessary cosponsors, and any resolution would ultimately be non-binding.

The effort comes after Trump publicly called last week to replace current RNC leaders and install one of his top campaign advisers and his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, in leadership positions. Lara Trump suggested earlier in the week that Republican Party voters would support the committee to pay her father-in-law’s legal fees as he faces a series of criminal and civil charges.

Chris LaCivita, Trump’s senior campaign adviser, whom the former president wants to make party operations director, told reporters Friday evening that the RNC would not pay Trump’s legal fees.

In a statement Saturday, Mr. LaCavita argued that “the primary is over and it is the sole responsibility of the RNC to defeat Joe Biden and win back the White House.”

“Efforts to delay this process are helping Joe Biden destroy our nation,” he said. Republicans cannot stand by and allow this to happen. »

One of Mr. Barbour’s proposed resolutions states that the RNC and its leadership will remain neutral throughout the presidential primary and will not hire additional staff not from any of the active campaigns until a candidate has the necessary delegates to be designated.

The second resolution says the organization will not pay legal fees for candidates for federal or state office, but will instead focus its spending on efforts directly related to the 2024 elections.

“The RNC has only one job. It’s winning the elections, argued Mr. Barbour. I think RNC funds should be spent only on winning elections, on political expenses, not on legal bills. »

The RNC was paying part of Trump’s legal fees for cases in New York that began while he was president, the Washington Postbut current chair Ronna McDaniel said in November 2022 that the RNC would stop paying once Trump becomes a candidate again and begins running for president in 2024.

Trump spends millions on lawyers in civil cases and four criminal cases, but he also has legal debts that exceed half a billion dollars.

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who is Trump’s last major obstacle in the Republican primary and will face him in his home state on Saturday, said a family member or campaign manager should not lead the RNC.

“I hope that the people at the RNC know that they have a responsibility, a responsibility to appoint people to the RNC who will look out for the fundamental interest of the entire Republican Party, not just one person,” Haley.

The resolutions were first reported by The Dispatch magazine on Saturday.

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