The Trump campaign paid out nearly $240,000 over the past three months to the attorney representing Donald Trump Jr., according to campaign finance disclosures released on Sunday.
The disclosures, filed with the Federal Election Commission, show that the Trump campaign paid Alan J. Futerfas a total of $237,924 in July and August.
That marks a significant increase over the $50,000 retainer that the campaign paid to Futerfas in late June, when he began representing Trump Jr.
Futerfas was hired shortly before The New York Times reported that Trump Jr. organized a meeting last June at Trump Tower with a Russian attorney and a Russian-American lobbyist.
The campaign’s payments for Trump Jr.’s legal fees have caused some controversy, mainly because of the optics of a billionaire family using donations from rank-and-file supporters to cover expenses that stem from a scandal of their own making.
Trump Jr. accepted the June 9, 2016, meeting after being promised derogatory information about Hillary Clinton. That meeting, which was attended by Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, has become a central focus of the investigations into Russian interference in the presidential campaign.
Trump Jr., 39, met with the Senate Intelligence Committee last month to discuss the meeting.
Trump Jr. has said that the Russian attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, did not provide any information about Clinton. But the fact that the Russians offered the information and that Trump Jr. accepted the meeting hoping for it has led to allegations that the campaign attempted to collude with the Russian government.
Last month, Reuters reported that the Republican National Committee is also helping President Trump cover legal bills associated with the Russia probe, which is now being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
The party paid Trump attorney John Dowd $100,000 in August and also paid $131,250 to law firm where Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow is a partner.
Some former campaign advisers who have had to hire lawyers to deal with congressional and federal investigations have taken issue with the campaign’s and RNC’s financial support for the Trump family.
“If the Trump re-election campaign and RNC are paying Trump’s legal bills related to Russia, they ought to pay for former campaign staff as well,” J.D. Gordon, the former head of the Trump campaign’s national security policy team, told TheDC last month.
Gordon, a former Pentagon spokesman, has hired legal counsel to help him gather documents for interviews with the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. (RELATED: As Trump Gets Outside Help For Legal Bills, Campaign Advisers Are Left Hanging Out To Dry)
“Trump Associates are the real victims of Trump-Russia mass hysteria. Many of us are faced with enormous legal bills for just doing our jobs,” he added.
The Trump campaign’s latest quarterly filing lists numerous other expenditures for legal expenses.
The campaign paid the Trump Corporation $25,885 for legal services last month, according to the disclosures. Another $3,803 was paid in September to Belkin, Burden, Wenig & Goldman, and $2,417 was paid to LaRocca, Hornik, Rosen, Greenberg & Blaha.
In August, the campaign paid $30,000 to the Washington, D.C.-based Williams & Jensen and $10,000 to the New York-based Liebowitz Law Firm.
The campaign also paid its law firm, Jones Day, nearly $806,000 last quarter. That’s up from nearly $540,000 forked out to the firm in the previous quarter.