House Dems: Legal Defense Fund Allows ‘Secret Donations’ To Trump Aides

on May 17, 2017 in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 17: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) speaks to the media on May 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. Today the Justice Department announced that former FBI director Robert Mueller will be a special counsel ove... WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 17: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) speaks to the media on May 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. Today the Justice Department announced that former FBI director Robert Mueller will be a special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 2, 2018 2:48 p.m.
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Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are calling for greater transparency of a legal defense fund created to assist Trump campaign and White House staffers with costs stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Eighteen Democrats signed the letter sent Monday to Acting Director of the Office of Government Ethics David Apol. “The structure of the Fund appears to allow secret donations to these individuals, and it raises serious concerns about whether it complies with ethics, tax, and elections laws, as well as OGE guidance,” the letter reads.

According to the letter, the Patriot Legal Expense Fund Trust, LLC was formed on February 27 to help “an employee, consultant, fundraiser or volunteer” of the Trump campaign, administration or transition team with legal costs should he or she be pulled into Mueller’s investigation.

The Democrats are asking for information about identifying and vetting donors to the fund, how the expenditures will be reported and capped, and how the fund was initially created. In the letter, they request that the documents be delivered by April 12 with a corresponding briefing the next day.

Read the full letter below:

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