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Democrats used campaign funds to pay Biden’s lawyers – media

The party reportedly diverted donations to cover the president’s legal fees while blasting Donald Trump for doing the same thing

The Democratic Party has reportedly diverted political donations to help cover legal costs incurred by Joe Biden while he was being investigated for mishandling state secrets – even as the US president’s reelection campaign condemned rival Donald Trump for the same tactic.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) paid more than $1.5 million to lawyers or firms representing Biden, Axios reported on Friday, citing campaign finance records and unidentified people familiar with the matter. The payments were made between July 2023 and February 2024, as US Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel Robert Hur was investigating Biden’s handling of classified documents that he illegally retained after completing his two terms as vice president.

Even as those payments were made, the Biden campaign ramped up its criticism of former US President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee in this year’s election, for using political donations to pay his lawyers. Trump has reportedly incurred more than $100 million in legal fees while defending himself against 91 charges in four separate criminal cases, including two indictments brought by Biden’s DOJ.

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House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) questions former Special Counsel Robert Hur on Capitol Hill, March 12, 2024.
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Biden’s backers have mocked Trump for soliciting donations to pay his lawyers. Just last month, DNC executive director Sam Cornale warned that the Republican National Committee (RNC) might start covering Trump’s legal fees after installing new leadership. “Pledging to spend the RNC’s non-existent war chest on Trump’s legal bills is not a good pitch to donors, who are already refusing to donate,” Cornale said.

Last weekend, Biden campaign finance chief Rufus Gifford told MSNBC that “every single dime” given by donors was being used to get the president’s message out to voters. “We are not spending money on legal bills,” he said. “We are not hawking gold sneakers or any of that stuff.”

Confronted by Axios over the use of donations to pay Biden’s lawyers, DNC spokesman Alex Floyd said, “There is no comparison. The DNC does not spend a single penny of grassroots donors’ money on legal bills, unlike Donald Trump, who actively solicits legal fees from his supporters and has drawn down every bank account he can get his hands on, like a personal piggy bank.”


READ MORE: Republican megadonors rally to save Trump – Reuters

Hur issued a report on his investigation in February, saying Biden had “willfully retained and disclosed” state secrets after leaving office as vice president in 2017. However, the special counsel didn’t recommend indicting Biden. He said it would be difficult to prove Biden’s intent to a jury because the 81-year-old president came across in interviews as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”  


READ MORE: Washington lives in denial over Putin’s victory while gaming its own elections

 

April 13, 2024 at 02:23AM
RT

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