When Donald Trump began holding campaign rallies this year which were officially for his 2020 reelection campaign, observers couldn’t figure out what he was really up to – until it was discovered that at least part of the money being raised was actually being funneled to pay Donald Trump Jr’s legal bills in the Russia scandal. Now it turns out those supposed “reelection” funds may also be going to Trump’s personal secretary.
Legal activist group Citizens for Ethics (CREW) has been routinely suing Donald Trump and related entities in court in order to expose his various financial schemes and scams, and is backed by legal heavyweights including Laurence Tribe and Richard Painter. CREW has managed to piece together that the same attorney is representing both Donald Trump Jr and and Donald Trump’s personal secretary Rhona Graff in the Russia scandal (link). This means that the “reelection” money being funneled to that attorney may for the purpose of covering the secretary’s legal bills as well. This would have major practical implications on the scandal.
If Donald Trump is scheming to cover the legal bills for Graff, then it strongly suggests that he’s trying to motivate her not to testify about what she’s witnessed. Depending on legal interpretation, this could be considered an attempt at obstructing justice. It would be one thing for Trump to pay his son’s legal bills; that’s a family matter. But paying his secretary’s legal bills, when she’s potentially a star witness against him in a criminal case, is another matter.
Even if it can’t be proven that Donald Trump is trying to buy his secretary’s silence in bad faith, this could signal to Special Counsel Robert Mueller where he should be digging next. There would have been communications between Trump, Graff, and/or the attorney regarding the arrangement – and those could be subpoenaed. Either way, if Trump’s “2020 reelection” funds are indeed going to his personal secretary, that’s a scandal in and of itself.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report