On the plus side, firms actually get PAID when Donald Trump pays attorneys from his Super PAC. Trump notoriously stiffs his attorneys when paying out of pocket, but doesn’t have a problem paying from his fundraising outfit, flush with donations from gullible voters who simultaneously see him as an impossibly rich businessman AND someone who desperately needs their $50 donation.
The downside is that everyone gets to see exactly which firms continue to do business with the toxic tinpot former president.
Former Florida AG candidate Daniel Uhlfelder dug through the FEC reports so you don’t have to and uncovered all the firms that billed Trump over the first half of last year.
Uhlfelder’s full post is embedded below, but let’s consider a few of the highlights revealed in the nearly $19 million of legal bills Trump paid out of campaign coffers over the first half of the year.
HABBA MADAIO & ASSOCIATES LLP – $1,503,915.14
Alina made bank performing her crackerjack legal services. The parking garage lawyer may be botching courtroom procedure and collecting disturbing ethical allegations, but her haul proves that being prettier than she is smart pays off.
BINNALL LAW GROUP – $1,031,788.33
Jesse Binnall, a veteran of Sidney Powell’s “Kraken” team that endeavored to overturn the election and only managed to rack up sanctions, scored a cool million as well for his team’s work on such masterpieces as the RICO LOLsuit — as Liz Dye would say — that accused every Democrat in the world of running a criminal conspiracy against Trump when the firm isn’t busy defending law professors who admit to sleeping with their students.
The other usual suspects are in there too — Todd Blanche, Chris Kise, John Lauro, etc. — but the most interesting entries are the Biglaw firms still inviting this public relations nightmare under their roofs.
CADWALADER, WICKERSHAM, & TAFT LLP – $344,950.21
Blanche used to work at Cadwalader before striking out on his own, presumably because the firm weighed the projected fees against the reputational risk of keeping their name on the arguments Trump’s making.
BALLARD SPAHR LLP – $109,174.55
Ballard Spahr is constantly at odds with Trump so this may be some sort of attorneys’ fees award.
MINTZ, LEVIN, COHN, FERRIS, GLOVSKY AND POPEO, P.C.- $269,424.39
Trump’s organization paid Mintz legal bills in the past for the firm’s work on behalf of his flunkies. Not sure what this one was for.
SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS (US) LLP – $193,750
Trump paid Squire Patton Boggs to represent former speechwriters in 2022.
But the biggest Biglaw haul belongs to…
KELLOGG, HANSEN, TODD, FIGEL & FREDERICK PLLC – $1,042,479
Kellogg represented Ivanka in the NY fraud case before getting replaced by Troutman Pepper. How that would become an expense for his Super PAC is a mystery.
All of this feels improper, given that campaign finance laws ban using donor money for lawyers when the cases do not relate to either campaign or officeholder duties, which a daughter’s role in a civil fraud case over the candidate’s private business would certainly not meet. On the other hand, the Federal Election Commission has ruled that the ban does not apply to leadership PACs so… flame on!
Congratulations, donors! You made all this possible.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.