Guess Who Also Used Campaign Donations to Pay His Legal Bills?

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Donald Trump's using campaign donations to cover legal bills has become a hot topic in the media as they seek to undermine his campaign. However, he's not the only presidential candidate who has used campaign donations to cover legal expenses. 


According to a new report from Axios, Joe Biden similarly utilized campaign donations to pay his legal expenses last year during the special counsel investigation into his mishandling of classified documents. Axios spoke with two sources familiar with the situation and conducted its own review of campaign finance documents to corroborate this.

This is a rather significant revelation because, as the outlet notes, "The payments, made through the Democratic National Committee, are at odds with the Biden campaign's recent attacks on Donald Trump for spending his campaign funds on legal fees."

"Every single time you give to the campaign, we're going straight to talk to voters," claimed Biden's campaign finance chair last weekend on MSNBC. "We are not spending money on legal bills or hawking gold sneakers." 

According to the financial filings of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which has been jointly fundraising with Joe Biden through the entirety of this campaign, they paid $1.5 million to lawyers and law firms on behalf of Biden as he was investigated for mishandling classified documents. 

In January 2023, Special Counsel Robert Hur began his investigation of Biden's handling of classified documents after they were discovered in his office at the Penn Biden Center and at his Delaware home in his garage. From July 2023 to February 2024, the DNC paid $1.05 million to Bob Bauer PLLC, the professional limited liability company of Biden's lead attorney, Bob Bauer. "Those payments were largely for handling the special counsel probe, including bringing on veteran lawyer David Laufman," explains Axios. "He's a former Justice Department official who previously oversaw the politically fraught probes into Hillary Clinton's email server and Russian interference in the 2016 election."


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By July, the DNC had significantly increased its monthly payments to the law firm Hemenway & Barnes from $15,000 to $100,000. This expansion coincided with the emergence of Jennifer Miller, an attorney at Hemenway & Barnes, who was identified in special counsel Hur's final report as one of President Biden's legal representatives. "It's unclear how much of the increased payments were for Miller and her work on Biden's case, and the expanded role the firm was taking in DNC work," explains Axios. The DNC wouldn't say exactly how much was spent to cover the legal expenses related to that investigation.

Special Counsel Robert Hur's report was released in February, and it found that Biden "willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen" and that his actions "present[ed] serious risks to national security.” However, Hur declined to prosecute Biden because he would present himself as an “elderly man with a poor memory,” and it would be difficult to convince a jury he was guilty of a serious felony because to commit such a crime “requires a mental state of willfulness.” The report elaborated by pointing out that Biden couldn’t even remember when he was vice president or when his son Beau died. 


The DNC responded with the "but this is different" excuse.

"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," DNC spokesperson Alex Floyd told Axios.

Unlike Biden, Trump is also the target of partisan investigations by Soros-funded district attorneys and the Biden administration.


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