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Democratic Party has helped Biden cover his legal bills

The Democratic National Committee has helped cover some of the legal fees that President Biden incurred over the last year amid a special counsel probe into his handling of classified documents, according to recent federal records.

Throughout the investigation, which special counsel Robert K. Hur concluded last month without bringing charges, Biden was represented by his longtime counsel Bob Bauer and several other attorneys. Bob Bauer PLCC, a firm set up by Bauer, has so far been paid $1 million by the DNC, according to Federal Election Commission records. The committee has also increased its payments to Hemenway & Barnes, a firm that employs Jennifer Miller, another attorney who worked on the case for Biden.

Bauer was paid $150,000 almost every month starting in July 2023, the records show, while Hemenway & Barnes was paid $100,000. Both Bauer and the law firm have done other work for the DNC on a range of issues, including voter protection, and both are likely to continue doing so. Given that, it is unclear whether all the recent payments are related to the Hur investigation or whether that total legal bill has been paid.

In recent weeks, some Biden allies have noted derisively that a significant portion of the money raised by the campaign of Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, is going toward his legal fees rather than to his reelection effort. While Biden’s legal bills are dramatically lower than those Trump has paid from campaign donations, the president’s use of political funds, which was first reported by Axios on Friday morning, could undercut some recent assertions by Biden’s surrogates.

“Every single dime that you give to the Biden-Harris reelection campaign, we spend talking to voters,” Rufus Gifford, the campaign’s finance chairman, said over the weekend during an interview on MSNBC. He added later: “We are not spending money on legal bills.”

Kevin Munoz, a Biden campaign spokesman, said that Gifford was referring only to spending by the Biden campaign and not that of the DNC, a party entity that supports the president and jointly raises money with him but is not officially part of his campaign.

“If you are a grass-roots donor to our campaign, your money is going to reaching voters. It’s that simple,” Munoz said. “That’s a stark contrast to Trump, who is begging retirees and hard-working Americans to pay off his legal fees.”

The funds spent on Biden’s legal bills amount to a small fraction of the amount raised so far by the DNC this election cycle, unlike the Trump operation, where about a fourth of the money raised has gone to pay legal bills.

Two of Trump’s committees, the Save America leadership PAC and the Make America Great Again PAC, spent $55.6 million on the former president’s legal bills in 2023. The Republican National Committee has not footed his legal bills so far this campaign cycle, but when he was president, the RNC paid lawyers to represent Trump as well as his son amid investigations of his 2016 campaign and its alleged connections to Russia.

Karoline Leavitt, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, pointed to the Biden payments as a sign of “lies and hypocrisy.”

“They have repeatedly stated they don’t spend money on Biden’s legal bills, while they attack President Trump for having to defend himself from Biden’s witch hunts,” Leavitt said. “Come to find out, the DNC paid millions to cover Biden’s legal bills.”

Democrats say the cases are nothing alike.

“There is no comparison,” DNC spokesman Alex Floyd said. “The DNC does not spend a single penny of grass-roots 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.”

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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