Trump PAC paid nearly half a million to law firms representing allies subpoenaed by Jan. 6 committee

7/2/2022 12:31:00 AM

Trump PAC paid nearly half a million to law firms representing allies subpoenaed by Jan. 6 committee

Trump PAC paid nearly half a million to law firms representing allies subpoenaed by Jan. 6 committee

NEW YORK — (NEW YORK) -- Former President Donald Trump's political action committee has paid nearly half a million dollars to multiple law firms that employ attorneys representing close allies of Trump who have been targeted by the Jan. 6 committee investigating the Capitol attack, according to a review of financial records by ABC News -- an arrangement that committee members say raises concerns about the possible coercion of witnesses.

Key allies of the former president whose attorney's firms have received payments by Trump's PAC include former White House aides Stephen Bannon and Peter Navarro, as well as his former special assistant Dan Scavino -- all of whom have engaged in fierce legal battles with the committee in an effort to block their cooperation.

In a statement to ABC News, Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington pushed back on the committee's suggestion, calling the panel"illegal and illegitimate" and saying the committee"does not have the facts, so instead they traffic in dishonest suggestions knowing the truth is not relevant to the Fake News Media."

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About half of Americans think Donald Trump should be charged for Jan. 6: pollPredictably, views on Donald Trump's criminal liability break down along party lines. KTVU 2 is Fox so of course they pretend this is about normal political disagreements between 2 normal parties. It’s not. Republicans are not a party they’re a cult. The cult relishes Trump’s lawlessness while Democrats and other sane people are horrified.

Republicans who backed Trump Jan. 6 probe face fierce backlash at the pollsNever in nearly 42 years in Congress has Rep. Chris Smith had a primary quite like his last — when he spent the final weeks getting bombarded by angry constituents who felt he crossed former President Donald Trump 42 years in congress. That explains a lot. Love this bold brave faithful prolife leader!!!!

About half say Trump should face charges for Jan. 6 riot, poll findsA new poll shows about half of Americans say former President Trump should be charged with a crime for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. About fucking half NOT without “Grecian Formula” Rudy and “The Penguin” Rodger Stone. 🤡🤡🤡

Trump-backed candidates run strong in primaries despite Jan. 6 investigationAnti-Trump Republicans hoping the Jan. 6 hearings are breaking the former president’s hold on the party’s base were disappointed this week after another round of Trump-backed GOP primary candidates marched to victory in Republican strongholds. Regular people look 1-6 committee as a waste of taxpayer money and more importantly waste of purpose.

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Jan. 6 Panel Subpoenas Counsel Who Resisted Trump SchemesThe House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection has issued a subpoena to former White House counsel Pat Cipollone. His reported resistance to Donald Trump’s schemes to overturn his 2020 election defeat has made him a long-sought and potentially revelatory witness. Cipollone is said to have stridently and repeatedly warned the former president and his allies against their efforts to challenge the election. The subpoena issued Wednesday is the first action from the committee since the testimony of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. Her gripping account of what she saw and heard has raised new questions about whether Trump or some of his allies could face criminal liability.

Trump's Save America PAC began paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to multiple law firms and lawyers connected to his allies in the committee's crosshairs after the panel was first formed last summer, and continued the payments as the committee's investigation began issuing subpoenas throughout the year, according to multiple sources and a review of Federal Election Commission filings.South Carolina Democrat, Trump's culpability has been clear from the beginning, when he urged his supporters to march to the Capitol on the morning of Jan.Rep.The cadence of war and its human toll: A photojournalist’s perspective The Times’ Marcus Yam is back in eastern Ukraine, where fighting remains fierce and residents continue to endure with no end in sight.

ABC News has identified payments to at least five law firms that are connected to lawyers representing Trump allies subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee, totaling $471,000." "It was meant to provoke violence because he kept encouraging them," the 86-year-old told The Associated Press. None of the firms were paid by the PAC prior to the committee's formation last summer, according to FEC reports.), who was first elected in 1980, was held under 60 percent in his primary election earlier this month. The payments continued until as recently as May of this year. 6 hearing Two years after completing a White House summer internship, Cassidy Hutchinson was in the room where the president’s top aides debated how they could overturn his election loss. While the disclosure reports show Save America's payments to these firms, the documents don't show which specific lawyers the payments are intended for, or who the firms are representing. Schloemer believes Republicans in Congress have a hand in what happened that day too: “I feel like people were afraid of Donald Trump, especially Republican politicians, and so they wouldn’t rein him in, and I think that just emboldened him.

Key allies of the former president whose attorney's firms have received payments by Trump's PAC include former White House aides Stephen Bannon and Peter Navarro, as well as his former special assistant Dan Scavino -- all of whom have engaged in fierce legal battles with the committee in an effort to block their cooperation. 6 insurrection. The New Jersey Republican won renomination with his lowest primary vote share ever, after he voted to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. This week, a member of the Jan. 6 committee suggested that allies of Trump could be attempting to coerce committee witnesses by paying for their lawyers using money raised off of false election claims. But, the 61-year-old doesn't lay the blame solely on Trump. "We talked about the hundreds of millions of dollars that the former president raised, some of that money is being used to pay for lawyers for witnesses," Rep. Republican members from Utah to Texas to South Dakota who also voted for the Jan. Zoe Lofgren said on CNN." And he's not alone. An additional 21% say GOP lawmakers had some responsibility, and 30% say they were not responsible.

"And it's not clear that that arrangement is one that is without coercion, potentially, for some of those witnesses." In a statement to ABC News, Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington pushed back on the committee's suggestion, calling the panel"illegal and illegitimate" and saying the committee"does not have the facts, so instead they traffic in dishonest suggestions knowing the truth is not relevant to the Fake News Media. 6. 6 investigation: They are running 13 points weaker than their average colleague in their primaries, according to a POLITICO analysis of 2022 primary results so far." Bannon and Navarro, two of the former president's fiercest supporters who have both been indicted by a federal grand jury on contempt of Congress charges, have both been represented by firms that have received money from Save America PAC. The Jan. An additional 21% say GOP lawmakers had some responsibility and 30% say they were not responsible. 6 committee subpoenaed Bannon in September 2021, citing"reason to believe" that the former Trump adviser had information regarding the Capitol attack. That’s dropped this year to 75 percent for GOP members who didn’t vote for the Jan. The nine-member panel, comprising seven Democrats and two Republicans, has worked around the clock for the last year to investigate the connection between Trump and his allies and the violence and chaos that ensued at the Capitol.

Bannon defied the subpoena and was ultimately indicted on contempt of Congress charges in November. Ulysses Bryant, a Democrat from Florida, said while he always believed Trump and the rioters should be charged with a crime, he hadn’t known of the involvement of congressional Republicans until he began to follow the hearings.. That same month, an attorney named Matthew Evan Corcoran from the firm Silverman Thompson filed a notice of appearance on behalf of Bannon to defend against contempt of Congress charges alongside David Schoen, who represented Trump during his second impeachment trial, according to court records reviewed by ABC News. A smaller but still sizeable share -- 42% -- say they watched or listened. “Simply being an incumbent puts you in those crosshairs,” said Rep. Months later, campaign disclosure records show Trump's PAC made a $50,000 payment to Corcoran's law firm, Silverman Thompson, in May 2022. It was Save America's first time paying the firm. The public hearing phase of their investigation is meant to put all of that investigative work on display to the American public in an effort to create a historical record of what occurred. Kathlyn Keller, a retired investment banker from San Francisco, is one of the GOP voters who has tuned into the hearings and still believes Trump holds no responsibility for the events of that day.

Then in June, former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro was arrested after being indicted for his refusal to comply with a subpoena from the Jan. The current House Select Committee on Jan. 6 panel. More Democrats than Republicans also say they tuned in, 58% to 27%. Navarro, who's been identified as a key player in the former president's efforts to overturn the election, represented himself when he was first subpoenaed in February -- but at least since mid-June, he's has been represented by attorney John Rowley, whose firm JPRowley Law has received thousands of dollars in payments from Trump's PAC since the committee was created. Cleta Mitchell, a conservative lawyer who also played a key role in Trump's efforts to hold onto power, was also represented by Rowley as she worked to defy the committee's requests for cooperation. Kathlyn Keller, a retired investment banker from San Francisco, is one of the GOP voters who has tuned into the hearings and still believes Trump holds no responsibility for the events of that day. “The irony is the commission that I voted for would have avoided this current commission,” said Rep. In December 2021, Rowley, on Mitchell's behalf, filed to block the committee from obtaining her phone and text records, according to court documents reviewed by ABC News. Merrick Garland .

Mitchell later withdrew the motion and testified before the committee. Trump "absolutely shouldn’t be charged with anything," she told the AP. Rowley's firm has received a total of $125,000 dollars from Trump's PAC since November of last year. It’s just not accurate. The firm was first paid $50,000 on November 29, 2021, which came two weeks before Mitchell filed to block the committee, then in May received two more payments totaling $75,000. Regardless of public opinion about Trump's likely criminal involvement, lawmakers continue to face a stark reality: While they can investigate Jan. Other law firms representing close Trump allies facing Jan. 6 subpoenas, including his former deputy chief of staff for communications Dan Scavino, current spokesperson Taylor Budowich, and former New York City police commissioner Bernie Kerik, have also been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars from Trump's PAC, financial disclosure records show. RELATED: Evidence gathered by Jan. | George Frey/AP Photo Five of the 35 Republican members who voted for that investigation had primaries on Tuesday night.

Both Budowich and Scavino still work for Trump. Scavino, one of Trump's closest aides, was held in contempt by the committee after he offered limited cooperation with its subpoena. Federal agents on Wednesday seized the cellphone of Trump lawyer John Eastman, who was the architect behind a plan to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence into rejecting the electoral college results. The Department of Justice earlier this month declined to pursue charges against him.), prevailed after being forced into a runoff in which his opponent continued to weaponize the commission vote. "This illegitimate committee is trying to drown innocent Americans in legal fees and assassinate their character with doctored evidence and dishonest innuendos -- that's the only coercion happening and the media is ignoring it," Budowich said in a statement to ABC News. Agents also served subpoenas to the Republican Party chairmen of Arizona, Nevada and Georgia, three states that went for Democrat Joe Biden and where Trump allies created slates of "alternate electors" intended to subvert the vote."I will not be intimidated by corrupt politicians who are trying to destroy our country.

" Budowich's attorney, Michael Abel, cofounder of Abel Bean Law, said in a statement,"Our Firm's representation of Mr.), lost to Rep. Budowich is a matter of public record. .. 6 vote..

We categorically reject any contention regarding the alleged coercion of witnesses. Never happened. 6 commission got less than 60 percent of the vote in a GOP primary — dangerous territory for an incumbent. Never would happen. Ever. Nor has something so outrageous or unethical ever been mentioned or suggested to us. One of them also voted to impeach Trump, and two others faced fellow incumbents in redistricting-fueled primaries.

" Kerik's attorney, Timothy Parlatore -- whose firm, Parlatore Law Group LLP, received $25,000 from Save America PAC for"legal consulting" on April 22, 2022 -- told ABC News that the Save America payment was unrelated to Kerik. A representative for Scavino did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News. Separately, former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson was initially represented by former Trump White House lawyer Stefan Passantino, with her legal bills covered by Trump's Save America PAC, according to a source familiar with the arrangement. 6 commission vote to cast the incumbents as insufficiently conservative. But Hutchinson switched attorneys just before delivering her bombshell testimony to the committee earlier this week, and is now represented by a firm not paid by the former president's political arm. Since July 2021 when the Jan.

6 committee was formed, Passantino's firm, Elections LLC -- which has long received payments from Trump's PAC -- has been paid a total of $280,548 by Save America. Rep. It's unclear how much of that amount was for Hutchinson's legal bills. Cofounded by Passantino and Trump's former deputy campaign manager, Justin Clark, Elections LLC has been one of the law firms paid not only by Save America but also by Trump's former presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee. The former Trump campaign, in particular, paid the firm tens of thousands of dollars every month from April 2019 through March of this year, totaling $1.) “Every time I talked, [I] brought it up,” said Keith Self, who won a runoff slot with Taylor and is now the GOP nominee.3 million, as both Passantino and Clark aided Trump's team in various legal matters, including contesting votes in states following the 2020 election.

Trump's team has also been directing others to a legal defense fund set up by American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp, sources tell ABC News. Schlapp, who set up the"America First Fund" and has worked with Trump's team to determine who would receive assistance from the fund, has said that the fund is"not going to assist anyone who agrees with the mission of the committee and is aiding and abetting the committee. There were other things." At the close of Tuesday's hearing, Jan. 6 committee leaders said they believe that some Trump allies who they did not name have attempted to intimidate witnesses who are cooperating with the special House panel. Sources have told ABC News that Hutchinson was one of the witnesses who told the Jan. It was a big meaningful one here in the district.

6 committee she was pressured by Trump allies to protect the former president. "Most people know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns," Rep. Liz Cheney said."We will be discussing these issues as a committee and carefully considering our next steps." A lightly regulated political action committee, Save America PAC can spend its funds freely as long as its expenditures are property reported to the FEC, said Brendan Fischer, a campaign finance expert and the deputy executive director of the watchdog journalism project Documented.

But the PAC selectively covering witnesses' legal fees raises ethical concerns, he said, especially when the PAC's funds are controlled by a person who"arguably has the most at stake in the Jan. investigation." "The biggest ethical concern is that Trump's PAC will cover legal fees strategically, in order to deter witnesses from cooperating with the Jan. 6 committee or to encourage favorable testimony," Fischer said."In other words, the worry is that there'll be an implicit understanding that Trump's PAC will only cover the legal fees of those who decline to fully cooperate with the committee, or that the PAC will withhold support to witnesses who provide testimony that Trump deems harmful.

" ABC News' Katherine Faulders contributed to this report. Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. Your browser does not support HTML5 audio. Listen .