Of Course, DNC Has Quietly Been Paying Biden's Legal Fees

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

If you've heard any of the talking points coming out of the Biden camp in the last few weeks, you've probably heard the one about Trump's legal bills. But it turns out that even as the Biden campaign and the DNC were making that case, the DNC was also paying Biden's legal bills.

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Here's Biden's campaign finance chairman Rufus Gifford appearing on MSNBC Sunday. "Every single dime that you give the Biden-Harris election campaign, we spend talking to voters," he said. He added, "We are not spending money on legal bills." This ciip of Gifford saying all of that was posted on YouTube by the DNC along with links so people could make donations.

Another example comes from this Washington Post story published last weekend:

Biden’s team said Friday it was not worried about Trump’s major Palm Beach fundraiser, which includes many donors who will max out their ability to give for the rest of the cycle — though they can still give unlimited sums to third-party groups supporting Trump.

“This thing this weekend is a handful of billionaires figuring out how to pay his legal bills, and we’ve got millions of grass-roots donors who are powering our campaign,” said Rob Flaherty, a Biden deputy campaign manager.

But even as they were making this case, the DNC was in fact spending nearly $2 million on Biden's lawyers.

Even as some of President Biden’s top campaign officials were attacking Donald J. Trump’s campaign for soliciting donations to pay his legal fees, the Biden-aligned Democratic National Committee was helping pay for lawyers in the special counsel investigation into Mr. Biden’s handling of classified documents.

The D.N.C. has directed at least $1.7 million to lawyers since July to cover the president’s representation in the documents inquiry, a figure that pales in comparison to Mr. Trump’s use of supporters’ donations to pay his hefty legal fees. The former president has spent more than $100 million on legal bills since leaving office, relying almost entirely on donations.

Federal Election Commission records show that since the investigation began last year, the D.N.C. has paid $1.05 million to Bob Bauer, the president’s lawyer. The party committee has also paid $905,000 to Hemenway & Barnes, a Boston firm that employs Jennifer Miller, a lawyer whom the special counsel’s report identified as a “personal counsel for Mr. Biden.”

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Granted, $2 million is a small fraction of the amount Trump has spent on lawyers, estimated to be around $100 million at this point. Still, the hypocrisy is glaring. After the story was broken by Axios today, a DNC spokesman came up with a new distinction:

Asked about Biden's use of the DNC to pay his legal bills, DNC spokesperson Alex Floyd told Axios: "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."

But the NY Times points out that this is a distinction the Biden team has never made prior to today.

Officials with the Biden campaign and the D.N.C. have for nearly a year made no distinction between the organizations when boasting about their fund-raising. In numerous instances — such as when Mr. Biden’s team raised $25 million at a single event with former President Bill Clinton and Mr. Obama — they have cast the campaign, the party and its affiliated committees as a single “Team Biden-Harris” to create a more impressive overall fund-raising total.

Team Biden had an issue here with Trump's spending on legal fees but their own hands weren't clean so they just lied about it. And once they got caught they invented a new distinction they had never made before. Not a great look.

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David Strom 2:30 PM | July 20, 2024
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