President Donald Trump’s campaign organization spent $1.6 million on legal expenses between the start of July and the end of September, the most it has spent on legal fees in any quarter, according to a new filing with the Federal Election Commission.
The payments, the bulk of which went to Jones Day, the law firm representing the campaign, come as the president’s reelection organization has both fought lawsuits related to the 2016 campaign and helped pay legal fees for staffers roped into investigations related to Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections.
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Mintz Levin, the law firm hired by former Trump campaign aide Corey Lewandowski in the Russia probe, was the next highest-paid firm, receiving $173,121 during the quarter, the filing showed.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment about its legal expenses.
Overall, the Trump organization — which includes the campaign and two joint fundraising committees operated by the campaign and the Republican National Committee — raised $18 million during the third quarter. The campaign spent $7.7 million and ended the quarter with $35 million on hand, a massive war chest that Trump has been building since soon after he assumed the presidency and that likely will put his cash stockpile leagues ahead of any 2020 challengers who emerge in the coming months.
The Trump campaign also appears to have taken steps to start earning money from one of its most valuable assets: its email list. The filing shows the campaign made $300,380 during the quarter from Parscale Strategy, a firm affiliated with campaign manager Brad Parscale, from “list rental revenue.”
Email lists are a valuable asset for any campaign, and many candidates rent their lists to others to generate extra cash. Trump’s campaign raised huge sums of money from his supporters via an email list built up during the 2016 campaign.
The Trump campaign’s spending on legal expenses totals $5.9 million since the president filed to launch his 2020 reelection bid. The campaign has acknowledged that some of that money has gone to pay legal bills for individuals involved in various investigations, including paying for Trump family members facing scrutiny related to Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections.
But the campaign has not specified how much money it has spent on those legal bills as opposed to other expenses, and the payments are simply marked “legal consulting” in the filing.
It’s legal for the campaign to cover such expenses tied to investigations, so long as those expenses are for costs that were incurred during the campaign.
The campaign also doled out $214,000 in donations during the quarter to more than 100 congressional candidates running for reelection, the filings show.