The Republican National Committee has paid nearly $2 million to law firms that have represented former President Donald Trump since October 2021.
But that financial aid could all change if Trump makes one decision.
This is because the Republican Party has a “neutrality policy” that prohibits it from taking sides in the presidential primaries, the official said.
“The party has to stay neutral,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told The Associated Press in January 2021.
“I’m not telling anybody to run or not to run in 2024,” she said when asked whether she wanted to see Trump run again.
However, McDaniel said in an August 2021 interview with WABC-AM in New York that “Republicans in America would absolutely say the president’s the most popular Republican and still leads the party.”
Trump indicated in an interview with New York Magazine this month that he plans on running but is bouncing back and forth on when to announce his presidential bid.
“I would say my big decision will be whether I go before or after. You understand what that means,” he explained.
“Midterms,” he continued. “Do I go before or after? That will be my big decision.”
According to ABC News, some Republican leaders are worried that Trump’s 2024 announcement could hurt the party’s chances of winning the November midterm elections.
As such, they are hoping the potential loss of RNC money will divert him from announcing his candidacy before then.
According to Federal Elections Commission financial disclosure records, the committee paid at least $1.73 million to three law firms representing Trump from October 2021 through June of this year, ABC News reported.
This includes funding for firms that have defended him in investigations into his family business in New York.
The report said these payments have raised concerns about whether the RNC is legitimately remaining neutral.
Republican donor and Canary LLC CEO Dan Eberhart said he doesn’t think there hasn’t been “any effort” to remain neutral. “This is a symbiotic relationship,” he said.
Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at the progressive government-watchdog group Public Citizen, also criticized the arrangement.
“By paying Trump’s extensive legal bills, the RNC is indirectly helping finance the Trump campaign,” Holman said.
“And given the history of the RNC zealously defending Trump, other Republican candidates should expect that they are not just running against Trump, they are also running against the Republican Party,” he said.
In contrast, RNC spokeswoman Emma Vaughn has defended the payments.
“As a leader of our party, defending President Trump and his record of achievement is critical to the GOP,” she said in a statement in November.
“It is entirely appropriate for the RNC to continue assisting in fighting back against the Democrats’ never-ending witch hunt and attacks on him,” Vaughn said.
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