- A PAC controlled by Donald Trump paid millions of dollars to a law firm representing Ivanka Trump.
- Firms representing Ivanka in the NY Attorney General’s lawsuit over Trump Organization’s finances received $2.3 million last year.
- Another law firm impersonating Trump family members received more than $5 million.
A political fundraising group controlled by Donald Trump has spent millions of dollars on law firms representing his adult children in personal legal problems.
A group called Save America PAC spent a combined $2.3 million in 2023 for two law firms that represented Ivanka Trump, his eldest daughter, according to a Business Insider review of Federal Election Commission records.
The PAC spent an additional $5.3 million on the law firm Robert & Robert, which represented his three eldest children – Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. – as well as the Trump Organization in a series of lawsuits, including For which there was no clear evidence. In relation to Trump’s campaign to regain the presidency in the 2024 election.
Trump founded Save America shortly after losing the 2020 presidential election. He has used it as his primary fundraising vehicle, often sending messages making false claims about the 2020 election and his legal problems to convince donors to give money.
Most of the PAC’s spending goes to legal fees, as Trump fights criminal indictments and civil lawsuits over his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, sexual misconduct and defamation claims, and alleged financial misconduct through his company. And sue media organizations. What he claims is unfair coverage.
Robert Maguire, research director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a campaign finance watchdog organization, said Trump has defrauded Save America donors for years.
“In 2020, he raised millions of dollars for the PAC by making baseless claims of a stolen election and by billing the PAC as the ‘official election defense fund,'” Maguire told Business Insider. “Since then, the committee has largely become a vehicle to pay the legal bills of him, his family, and his associates, as well as give millions to pro-Trump super PACs.”
In 2023, Save America paid a total of $1,303,667.11 to the law firm Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders and $1,042,479 to the firm Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick.
Both firms represented Ivanka Trump in a lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James against the Trump Organization, Donald Trump, his three eldest children, and several of its finance executives. The Attorney General’s Office alleged that the firm misrepresented finances to receive favorable tax, bank loans and insurance rates.
The law firms seem to have done a good job. In June last year, a New York state appeals court dismissed Ivanka Trump as a defendant in the lawsuit, ruling that the claims involving her were beyond the statute of limitations on the allegations.
Both law firms appear to have worked exclusively for Ivanka Trump
Beginning in September 2022, Ivanka is represented by Michael K. Kellogg of the Washington, D.C.-based firm of Kellogg Hansen. Kellogg did, court records show, joined by his colleague Reed M. Figel in January 2023. Robert and Clifford S. Robert and Michael Farina Robert served as local counsel to Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., defending them at trial.
In court filings, Figel argued that Ivanka should be treated differently from her siblings and father because she stopped working at the Trump Organization in 2017.
“Ms. Trump’s factual and legal defenses are unique because the legal theories and factual allegations made against her are distinct, and because she left the company in January, 2017,” Farina wrote in a March 2023 filing.
Kellogg & Figel withdrew from representing Ivanka Trump the following month as the case moved closer to trial.
Shortly thereafter, Troutman Paper attorney Bennett S. Moskowitz, who previously represented Jeffrey Epstein’s estate executors in lawsuits against rape accusers, joins the court as the attorney representing Ivanka Trump.
Her associate Ketan D. Bhirud joined Ivanka Trump’s team in June, the same month he was dropped as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Even though Ivanka will no longer be a defendant, the New York Attorney General’s Office did not deal with her.
The office still wanted her to appear as a witness in the case, and even cited her lawyers as “being paid by Mr. Trump’s Save America PAC along with the other defendants” to allow her to appear. Will be forced to testify later in a court appearance, according to the emails included.
“Hope you’re doing well and I’m sure you’re excited to hear from us again,” a member of the office wrote in an email to Moskowitz in September. “We want to let you know that we are also adding Ivanka to the preliminary trial witness list that we are sending to the defendants this evening.”
In October, after the trial began, Moskowitz tried to quash the subpoena, arguing that it was outside the court’s jurisdiction and had not been properly served. She also argued that, as a Florida resident with three children in school, it would be too burdensome for her to remain in New York to testify.
“Ms. Trump, who lives in Florida with her three minor children, would suffer undue hardship if denied residency and were required to testify at the trial in New York in the middle of the school week,” Moskowitz wrote in a filing. is required.”
The arguments did not work. Ivanka Trump testified at the trial on November 8.
He appears to have a hazy memory, often answering “I don’t remember” or “I don’t remember” to questions about loans he may have worked on.
The trial officially ended with closing arguments in January, with a decision from New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron expected later this month.
Trump’s PAC spent more than $50 million on legal costs
When Moskowitz – a New York-based lawyer – stepped into the case in April, Robert stopped representing Ivanka Trump, but continued to represent her two brothers.
Neither Kellogg, Farina, Moskowitz nor Bhirud responded to Business Insider’s request for comment. Business Insider could not identify any cases involving Trump on which he worked, other than representing Ivanka Trump in the New York Attorney General’s lawsuit.
However, Robert’s company has been more deeply involved in Trump’s personal legal problems.
He represented Trump in a now-dismissed lawsuit over the Trump Organization’s involvement in a multi-level marketing company and Michael Cohen’s allegedly unpaid legal bills, which was settled in mid-2023.
According to a Business Insider review of FEC records, Robert & Robert received a total of $5,288,756.36 from Save America – more than any other law firm or individual attorney.
Clifford S. Robert did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The legal costs for the law firms representing Ivanka Trump are a small fraction of the more than $50 million that Save America and MAGA PAC, another political group controlled by her father, spent on legal costs. Representatives for the PAC did not respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment.
It is unclear why Trump’s political donors would have paid for Ivanka Trump’s representation in the case. Ethics filings indicate that she and her husband, Jared Kushner, had a net worth of about $1 billion during Trump’s presidency, and a financial firm founded by Kushner has raised billions more since Trump left office. Ivanka Trump did not respond to a request for comment.
Maguire, the CREW’s research director, said the FEC’s Republican commissioners have refused to take action against alleged PAC spending violations.
“The FEC’s Republican commissioners have voted against every single instance where the agency’s own nonpartisan lawyers have had reason to believe that Trump or his committees committed violations,” he said.