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Today: May 28, 2024

Democratic donors paid more than $1M for Biden's legal bills for special counsel probe

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LA Post: Democratic donors paid more than $1M for Biden's legal bills for special counsel probe
April 12, 2024
ZEKE MILLER - AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic donors covered more than $1 million in legal fees racked up by attorneys representing President Joe Biden in a yearlong special counsel probe into his handling of classified documents.

The use of party funds to cover Biden's legal bills is not without precedent and falls within the bounds of campaign finance law, but it could cloud Biden's ability to continue to hammer former President Donald Trump over his far more extensive use of donor funds to cover his legal bills.

The former president has tapped more than $100 million in donor money for a web of legal challenges, ranging from his upcoming criminal trial in New York over hush money payments to ongoing prosecutions over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection and his refusal to turn over classified documents to the federal government after leaving office.

For months, Biden aides and advisers have criticized Trump and Republicans for their spending on the former president's legal issues, which has left the GOP campaign cash-strapped and diverted resources from battleground states.

“We are not spending money on legal bills or hawking gold sneakers,” Biden campaign finance chair Rufus Gifford told MSNBC last week.

The payments to Biden attorney Bob Bauer and the law firm Hemenway & Barnes were disclosed in regular campaign finance reports to the Federal Election Commission. Two people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the payments, confirmed the money went for work on the Biden probe. Axios first reported on the payments.

The money for Biden’s legal team came from the Democratic National Committee’s legal account, according to the people. That account is primarily funded by high-dollar donors who have already met federal contribution limits for the party’s political activities.

“If these corrupt Democrats didn’t have HYPOCRISY, they’d have NOTHING!” the Republican National Committee said in a post Friday on X.

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