RNC Foots NH Legal Bills — Because They’re Nice?

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The Hotline on Call is an outstanding blog with good information and seasoned reporters. But yesterday they made a comment that struck me as a bit too forgiving towards the Republican National Committee.

In an post explaining why Republicans at the national level probably didn’t know about the New Hampshire GOP’s jamming of phones used by Democratic volunteers to get out the vote, the Hotline blog wrote:

. . .[T]he Republican National Committee, out of perhaps commendable (and perhaps foolhardly) loyalty to one of their own, has paid for Mr. [James] Tobin’s legal bills.

Tobin was a regional political director for the RNC-affiliated National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee at the time he assisted with the phone jamming.

But his bills have been significant — they now top $2.5 million, according to news accounts. Tobin is receiving the services of a team of lawyers from Williams & Connolly, among the whitest-of-the-white-shoe firms D.C. has to offer.

In an election year that could see the GOP lose several seats in Congress, that’s a lot of money to divert to the legal defense of a campaign worker who engaged in patently undemocratic behavior. It’s hard to look at that figure and not wonder if there’s a political calculation behind it.

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