A while ago, the Republic National Committee was criticized for using its funds to pay for Il Trumpe’s legal expenses, and the RNC then stopped. Well, never fear (boldface mine):
Soon after the Republican National Committee came under pressure for paying legal bills for President Donald Trump and his eldest son in the special counsel’s Russia probe, it started covering expenses for the president’s re-election campaign.
The RNC is using campaign funds to pay Trump’s company more than $37,000 a month in rent, and to pay thousands of dollars in monthly salary to Vice President Mike Pence’s nephew, John Pence, party officials confirmed this week. The rent pays for office space in the Trump Tower in New York for the staff of Trump’s re-election campaign. John Pence is the Trump campaign’s deputy executive director.
Campaign finance experts who spoke to CNBC said this type of spending by a party committee on behalf of a campaign is highly unusual but legal, and it appears the RNC disclosed it correctly.”This is permissible and it’s being reported properly, but why they are doing it is a mystery,” said Brendan Fischer, senior counsel for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center. “One would think the RNC could be spending their money more effectively right now on the 2018 campaign, rather than spending it to pay Trump’s rent.”
…”If you follow the money, it sure looks like the Trump campaign is outsourcing payment for its bills to the Republican National Committee,” said Stephen Spaulding, a former special counsel at the FEC who is now with the nonpartisan watchdog group Common Cause.
“First the president was using RNC money to pay for his legal bills related to special counsel Mueller’s investigation,” he told CNBC. “Now cash from the RNC is apparently being used to cover payroll for the vice president’s nephew and rent at Trump Tower for his 2020 campaign.”
“It looks to me like the RNC is shuttling cash around to benefit Trump and the vice president’s family in ways that are pretty unprecedented,” Spaulding added.
But they’re not only venial bastards, they are also stupid:
Equally puzzling, Fischer said, is why the RNC would choose to begin coordinating with Trump now, three years before Election Day 2020. “There are limits to how much a party committee is allowed to spend on coordinated expenditures with a presidential candidate,” he said.
In 2016, the limit was $24 million, which may sound like a lot, but in reality was only 2 percent of the $1.2 billion that Republicans spent on the 2016 presidential race.
“Why would [The RNC] be blowing through their allowed expenditures now, on something the campaign can easily afford?” Fischer said. “Did they think they needed to show loyalty to Trump by paying the rent at the building Trump owns?” CNBC relayed this question directly to officials at the RNC, who did not respond.
If we survive this, we need a complete de-Trumpification, top to bottom, in all of our institutions.