Trump Is Using Taxpayer Money To Pay For His Business Legal Bills: Report
The legal bill for Trump’s private business lawsuits is being paid for by taxpayers to protect Donald Trump’s business profits, the USA Today reported Thursday.
According to the publication, taxpayers are paying for at least 10 Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers and paralegals who are looking into these lawsuits.
The amount of money being paid by taxpayers is not known, according to the report.
Government lawyers normally get between $133,000 and $185,000 when assigned to cases, the newspaper noted.
Lawyers are currently working on four lawsuits involving the president’s private businesses and are arguing the legality of the president’s businesses profiting off foreign governments and officials.
Those on the opposing side say Trump’s private businesses taking money from foreign government customers creates unconstitutional conflicts of interest.
“We’ve never before had a president who treated government business as his private business,” said Stuart Gerson, who served as chief of the Justice Department’s civil division for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
“It’s blurring the lines because it’s so unusual. I can’t think of a precedent where another civil division lawyer has been called on to defend the president under these circumstances,” he said.
Trump has faced controversy in the past over potential conflicts of interest while in office.
“In the emoluments cases, you’ve got the DOJ defending him on constitutional principles,” said William Weinstein, a New York attorney suing Trump in one of the foreign payments cases, according to USA Today.
“Their end goal is to let him keep his money and they’re defending his personal interests,” he said.