You are here: Home » International » News » Politics
Business Standard

Trump to pay his own legal Bills, set up fund to cover staff

Trump's case raises unique questions about whether his contributions could influence the testimony of staffers

Shannon Pettypiece | Bloomberg 

APEC Summit, Donald Trump
Donald Trump.

President Donald has started paying his own legal bills related to the Russia probe, rather than charging them to his campaign or the Republican National Committee, and is finalising a plan to use personal funds to help current and former staff with their legal costs.

The Office of Government Ethics and a tax firm are working on a mechanism for to contribute to staffers’ legal bills that would meet regulatory and ethical standards, lawyer said in an interview. The is hoping the issue will be resolved shortly, said Cobb, who declined to elaborate further on the details of the plan. 

While there is no law barring a president from giving gifts to those who report to him, Trump’s case raises unique questions about whether his contributions could influence the testimony of staffers, said Walter Shaub, former head of the Office of Government Ethics who has criticised the president over other conflicts of interest. 

Cobb said the is aware of the ethical questions and has been taking steps to address them in recent weeks.

“The president has assumed responsibility for his own legal fees and while he isn’t involved directly in the creation of a mechanism to take care of staffers, it is important to him that they be taken care of and whatever approach is agreed upon by OGE and relevant tax authorities be bulletproof,” said Cobb.

It is possible, however, that the final plan ethics and tax officials come up with to cover staff legal costs wouldn’t allow for to make a contribution, said a person familiar with the process.

First Published: Mon, November 20 2017. 02:11 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU