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Small donations to Trump campaign pay for Trump Jr.’s massive legal bills

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The Trump campaign spent $267,924 on lawyers for Donald Trump Jr. from July to September, according to disclosures made to the Federal Election Commission on Sunday. The figure includes $237,924 for Trump Jr.’s personal attorney, Alan Futerfas. Another $30,000 went to Williams and Jensen, which helped Trump Jr. prepare for Congressional testimony.

In the previous quarter, the Trump campaign spent $50,000 on Trump Jr.’s legal bills. The Republican National Committee has also spent over $200,000 on lawyers representing Trump Jr., with most of that amount going to Futerfas. In total, donors to the Trump campaign and the Republican party have spent over half a million dollars on Trump Jr.’s legal representation.

Trump Jr. has been under intense legal scrutiny since it was revealed that he set up a meeting between top Trump campaign officials and Russians who claimed to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” Rob Goldstone, a promoter for Emin Agalarov, the son of a prominent Russian oligarch closely tied to Putin, wrote in an email to Trump Jr in June 2016.

“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” Goldstone added.

Trump Jr. replied, “[I]f it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” and promised to call him.

A few days later, Trump Jr. set up a meeting with the Russians that he believed possessed this information. He brought along then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Trump’s son-in-law and top campaign adviser, Jared Kushner. On the Russian side, attendees included a man accused of a massive money laundering scheme, a former Russian intelligence officer described as “a master of the dark arts” and a Russian lawyer closely tied to the Kremlin.

The meeting is now a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Trump Jr. is now running the Trump Organization and, to avoid conflicts, is supposed to be walled off from the political life of his father.

President Trump claims to be worth $10 billion. But his son’s legal defense is being paid,  with the help of people of modest means donating small amounts to the Trump campaign. Over $1.2 donated to the Trump campaign last quarter was “unitemized,” meaning it came from individuals who have cumulatively donated $200 or less.

It’s unclear if these small donors are aware how much of their contributions are being paid to cover legal fees of Trump’s adult children.

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