Donald Trump paid more than $2.3 million in donor money to law firms to help Ivanka Trump with her legal troubles last year

  • A PAC controlled it Donald Trump He paid millions of dollars to a law firm representing Ivanka Trump.

  • Firms representing Ivanka in the New York attorney general’s lawsuit over the Trump Organization’s finances were awarded $2.3 million last year.

  • Another law firm representing Trump family members received more than $5 million.

A political fundraising group controlled by Donald Trump has spent millions of dollars on law firms representing his adult children in their personal legal problems.

The group, called Save America PAC, spent a total of $2.3 million in 2023 to two law firms representing Ivanka Trump, his eldest daughter, according to a Business Insider review of Federal Election Commission records.

The political action committee spent an additional $5.3 million on the law firm Robert & Robert, which represented the eldest of his three children – Ivanka Trump, Eric Trumpand Donald Trump Jr. — as well as the Trump Organization in a group of lawsuits that have no apparent connection to Trump’s campaign to reclaim the presidency in the 2024 election.

Trump founded Save America shortly after losing the 2020 presidential election. He has used it as his primary fundraising vehicle, often sending letters containing false claims about the 2020 election and his legal troubles to convince donors to give him money.

A large portion of the PAC’s expenses goes to legal fees Trump faces criminal indictments and civil lawsuits Because of his attempts to cancel the results of the 2020 elections, Allegations of sexual misconduct and defamationalleged financial misconduct through his company, and is suing media organizations over what he claims is unfair coverage.

Robert Maguire, research director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, an organization that monitors campaign finance, said Trump has deceived Save America donors for years.

“In 2020, he raised tens of millions of dollars for the PAC by making baseless claims of a stolen election and calling the PAC an ‘official election defense fund,'” Maguire told Business Insider. “Since then, the PAC has Largely a way to pay the legal bills for him, his family, and his associates, while also funneling tens of millions to pro-Trump super PACs.”

In 2023, Save America disbursed a total of $1,303,667.11 to the law firm Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders, and $1,042,479 to Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel, & Frederick.

The two firms represent Ivanka Trump in the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James A sprawling lawsuit against the Trump OrganizationDonald Trump, his three eldest children, and several executives control its finances. The Attorney General’s Office alleged that the company misrepresented finances to obtain favorable tax, bank loan and insurance rates.

The law firms seem to have done a good job. In June last year, the New York State Court of Appeals dismissed Ivanka Trump as a defendant in the lawsuit, ruling that the allegations related to her exceed the statute of limitations for such claims.

The two law firms appear to have worked exclusively for Ivanka Trump

As of September 2022, Ivanka has been represented by Michael K. Kellogg from the Washington, D.C.-based Kellogg-Hansen Company. Court records show, with colleague Reed M. Feigel joining in January 2023. Clifford S. Robert and Michael Farina of Robert & Robert served as domestic counsel while also defending Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. In the lawsuit.

In court filings, Feigel argued that Ivanka should be treated differently from her siblings and father because she stopped working for the Trump Organization in 2017.

“Ms. Trump’s factual and legal defenses are unique, both because the legal theory and factual allegations made against her are different, and because she left the company in January 2017.” Farina wrote in a March 2023 filing.

Kellogg and Feigel withdrew from representing Ivanka Trump the following month as the case approached trial.

Ivanka Trump caseIvanka Trump case

Ivanka Trump arrives at the New York State Supreme Court after a recess to testify as a witness in the civil fraud trial of former President Donald Trump.Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Shortly thereafter, Troutman Pepper attorney Bennett S. Moskowitz, who previously represented Jeffrey Epstein’s estate executors in lawsuits against rape accusers, joined the docket as an attorney representing Ivanka Trump.

His colleague, Ketan D. Biroud She joined Ivanka Trump’s team in Junethe same month She was removed as a defendant In the lawsuit.

Although Ivanka is no longer indicted, the New York Attorney General’s Office is not done with her.

The office still wanted her to appear in the case as a witness, and even cited her lawyers “who are paid by Mr. Trump’s Save America PAC along with other defendants” as a reason to force her to testify, according to emails that were later included. In the court gallery.

“I hope you are doing well, and I am sure you are excited to hear from us again,” an office member wrote to Moskowitz in an email in September. “We wanted to let you know that we have included Ivanka on the preliminary trial witness list that we will be sending to the defendants this evening.”

Ivanka Trump Arthur EngoronIvanka Trump Arthur Engoron

Ivanka Trump speaks on the witness stand during the Trump Organization civil fraud trial before Judge Arthur Engoron at the New York State Supreme Court in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, U.S., November 8, 2023 in this courtroom graphic.Reuters/Jane Rosenberg

In October, after the trial began, Moskowitz Try to cancel the subpoena for trialUnder the pretext that it was outside the jurisdiction of the court and the service was not provided to it properly. He also said that, as Florida resident With three children in school, it would be difficult for her to be in New York to testify.

“Ms. Trump, who resides in Florida with her three minor children, will suffer undue hardship if her residency is denied, and will have to testify at trial in New York in the middle of the school week,” Moskowitz wrote in a memo.

The arguments didn’t work. Ivanka Trump testified At trial on November 8.

She seems to have a blurry memory often Answer with “I don’t remember” or “I don’t remember” For questions about Loans you may have worked on.

The trial officially concluded with closing arguments in January, and a decision from New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron is expected later this month.

Trump’s political action committees spent more than $50 million on legal costs

When Moskowitz, a New York-based lawyer, took on the case in April, Robert stopped representing Ivanka Trump, but continued to represent her two brothers.

Neither Kellogg, Farina, Moskowitz, nor Peraud responded to Business Insider’s request for comment. Business Insider was unable to identify any Trump-related cases they have worked on other than representing Ivanka Trump in the lawsuit filed by the New York attorney general.

However, Robert’s company was more deeply involved in Trump’s personal legal troubles.

He also represented Trump in a now-dismissed lawsuit over the Trump Organization’s involvement in a corruption case Multi-level marketing company And a Case from Michael Cohen regarding alleged unpaid legal billsWhich was settled in mid-2023.

Ivanka Trump Jared KushnerIvanka Trump Jared Kushner

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are seen arriving for Amalia Knavs’ funeral on January 18, 2024 in Palm Beach, Florida.Mega/GC Images/Getty Images

Robert & Robert received a total of $5,288,756.36 from Save America — more than any other law firm or individual attorney, according to a Business Insider review of Federal Election Commission records.

Clifford S. Robert did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The legal costs of the law firms representing Ivanka Trump are only a fraction of the more than $50 million that Save America and MAGA PAC, another political group controlled by her father, have spent on legal costs. Representatives of the political action committees did not respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment.

It is not clear why Trump’s political donors paid for Ivanka Trump’s representation in the case. The ethics filings indicate that she and her husband, Jared Kushner, were net value About $1 billion during Trump’s presidency, and a financial company founded by Kushner did just that Billions of dollars more were raised After Trump left office. Ivanka Trump did not respond to a request for comment.

McGuire, CREW’s research director, said Republican commissioners on the Federal Election Commission have refused to take action against the PAC’s alleged spending violations.

“The FEC’s Republican commissioners have voted against every case in which the agency’s nonpartisan lawyers found reason to believe that Trump or his committees committed violations,” he said.

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