The RNC made two payments totaling $121,670 to Fischetti and Malgieri LLP in October, the committee’s recently filed report with the Federal Election Commission shows. Ronald Fischetti, a partner in the firm and a criminal defense attorney, is representing Trump in a criminal investigation into the Trump Organization’s business practices.
Fischetti did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment. Trump aides also did not immediately respond.
A spokeswoman for the RNC said in a statement that its “Executive Committee approved paying for certain legal expenses that relate to politically motivated legal proceedings waged against President Trump.”
“As a leader of our party, defending President Trump and his record of achievement is critical to the GOP,” she added. “It is entirely appropriate for the RNC to continue assisting in fighting back against the Democrats’ never ending witch hunt and attacks on him.”
The Democratic National Committee swiftly seized on the statement, saying in its own that “the RNC said it best: Donald Trump leads the Republican Party.”
“Ronna McDaniel and the Republican National Committee are using their donors’ money to finance Trump’s personal legal defense while he sits on hundreds of millions of his own money as well as campaign funds,” spokesperson Adonna Biel said in the statement. “This is today’s GOP — a party that will do anything for a divisive and incompetent ex-president who cost their party the House, Senate, and White House and thousands of Americans their lives and livelihoods. If we were the RNC’s donors, we would certainly be asking questions.”
James’ office teamed up with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office earlier this year and announced an indictment charging the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, with running a 15-year tax fraud scheme.
This story has been updated with additional details Monday.
CNN’s Kara Scannell contributed to this report.