Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrive to speak to police gathered at the Fraternal Order of Police lodge during a campaign rally on August 18, 2016 in Statesville, North Carolina.
Carlo Allegri Reuters
Several lawyers who led President Donald Trump’s frantic effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election tried and failed to get reimbursed for work they did for Trump’s political campaign, according to congressional investigators and Federal Election Commission records. That’s despite their allegations and false allegations of election interference helped the Trump campaign and allied committees raise $250 million in the weeks after the November vote, the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot said in its final report.
Among them was Trump’s closest ally, former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani. Trump and Giuliani reached a handshake agreement that Giuliani and his team would be paid by Trump’s political operation for their post-election work, according to Timothy Parlatore, a lawyer for Bernard Kerik, a longtime Giuliani ally.
But according to campaign finance records, the Trump campaign and its affiliated committees ultimately failed to follow through on that promise. Records show Giuliani’s companies were only paid travel expenses, not the $20,000 per day he claimed.
Parlatore also told CNBC that the Giuliani operation was never compensated for its work. According to Parlatore, the failure to pay Giuliani and his team came up in a private interview last week between prosecutors from special counsel Jack Smith’s team and Kerik, a member of Giuliani’s team in late 2020.
“The lawyers and law firms who weren’t doing this work were being paid a lot of money, and the people who were doing their work were getting nothing,” Kerik said. he complained 2021 tweet.
Giuliani’s attorney, Bob Costello, declined to comment further on the deal, citing privileged conversations between his client and then-President Trump.
Trump has a long history of defaulting on his debts. But the revelation that he stiffed Giuliani, a longtime friend, is all the more surprising given that much of Giuliani’s work for the Trump operation was detailed in the widely publicized RICO indictment released Monday in Georgia, in which Giuliani is a co-defendant. Along with Trump and 17 others.
The indictment details Giuliani’s trips, phone calls and meetings he attended, all of which prosecutors say is a criminal conspiracy to overturn the election.
Criminal or not, what is indisputable is that Giuliani and his team did a lot of legal and PR work for Trump. For more than two months, Giuliani served as the public face of Trump’s election problems, and ultimately failed.
However, those calls helped Trump and his allies raise an unprecedented $250 million from small-dollar donors in the weeks after the November election, according to the House select committee’s final congressional report on the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. . The money came in response to countless fundraising appeals that Trump claimed were needed to fund his campaign challenges in court.
Instead of paying lawyers who tried unsuccessfully to overturn his loss, the money went to Trump’s PAC, Save America, according to the select committee.
According to the House Select Committee’s final report, “After raising $250 million for bogus voter fraud claims by mostly small-dollar donors, President Trump didn’t spend that money fighting an election he knew he was going to lose.” According to a report by OpenSecrets, Trump’s entire political network, including joint fundraising committees, spent more than $47 million in legal fees from the beginning of 2020 to the end of 2021.
Today, money raised by Trump’s political operation, in contrast, helps Trump pay his own legal bills in the criminal cases against him. Trump’s Save America PAC spent more than $20 million on legal fees in the first half of the year alone as the president faced the first two of four indictments.
PAC started the second half of the year with only $3 million in cash.
Sidney Powell, an attorney who was later disowned by the Trump campaign, attends a press conference with Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, Nov. 19, 2020.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
Giuliani is not the only unindicted conspirator in the special counsel’s election case to be hardened by the Trump operation.
Federal Election Commission records and a Jan. 6 House select committee hearing show that none of the private-sector lawyers named but unindicted in the case were paid for their post-election work: not Sidney Powell, Kenneth Chesebro or John. Eastman.
Giuliani and Eastman wanted a mix of compensation and payments, but records show they received almost none of that money. Powell had to turn to his own law firm to pay his volunteers. All the while, the Trump team raised hundreds of millions of dollars from false allegations of election fraud that Powell and Giuliani promoted on television and in court.
Chesebro, for his part, told the House committee that his work for the Trump team was pro bono.
On Monday, all four lawyers entered a new phase in their legal relationship with Trump when they were indicted along with him in the Georgia RICO case.
Giuliani, Chesebro, Powell and Eastman were among more than a dozen other defendants in an indictment against Trump in Georgia on charges of trying to illegally overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state and elsewhere.
Giuliani wanted $20,000 a day
Matthew Morgan, an election lawyer for the Trump campaign, told the House Select Committee in 2022 that Giuliani charged Trump’s political operation $20,000 a day to fight the election results. If you worked five days a week for two months in November and December 2020, that would be about $800,000 in legal fees.
But Giuliani never managed to do that. Two companies with ties to the former New York City mayor received nearly $100,000 in travel and reimbursements from Trump’s operation, according to federal records. According to records, Kerik’s company saw about $85,000 in travel expenses. But not a penny more than the Trump team for their services.
Longtime conservative attorney John Eastman is alleged to have had a role in trying to block the 2020 election results from being certified.
Attorney John Eastman speaks alongside President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, as Trump supporters gather ahead of the president’s speech to protest Congressional approval of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results, January 6, at the Ellipse in Washington, DC. 2021.
Jim Bourg | Reuters
Morgan told the House Select Committee that when Eastman first officially came aboard in December, he did so voluntarily, but he asked for his expenses to be covered by Trump’s team.
Federal Election Commission records show that Eastman did not receive any direct compensation from Trump’s campaign despite the agreement.
Shortly after Jan. 6, 2021, Eastman requested payment “for services rendered,” according to Morgan’s testimony to the select committee. Although Morgan did not recall how much money Eastman asked for, he said he understood that “the services requested were the sum total of all the work he did for the campaign.”
Morgan told the committee that he referred the request to another Trump campaign legal adviser, Justin Clark.
FEC records show that no payments were made to Eastman by any of Trump’s committees.
Eastman’s attorneys declined to comment.
The fact that neither Giuliani nor Eastman was paid reflects a deep rift that has emerged since the election between senior Trump official campaign staff and a small group of lawyers who have come up with fringe theories about how Trump can overcome the loss.
Sometimes called the “Normal Team,” a group of Trump campaign leaders and legal minds have pushed back against conspiracy theories peddled by outside lawyers.
Ultimately, it was the members of the “Normal Team” who had a say in the campaign purse.
Clark then recounted an email from Giuliani’s staff demanding payment on Christmas Eve 2020.
“My point is, these guys were reporting directly to Mr. Giuliani and when it came time to get paid, they were looking to me to get paid, and I was just never ready for that. write checks to people … we’re not going to burn money just to do business,” Clark told a House committee.
Clark’s attorney declined to comment.
Sidney Powell is the third unnamed co-conspirator in Smith’s federal indictment, according to NBC News. He is also one of the defendants in the Georgia case against Trump and his allies.
Powell was one of the leading voices Shortly after the election, Fox News spoofed false claims that voting machine companies Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems were each involved in a conspiracy to prevent Trump from becoming president.
Both companies denied the allegations and sued Fox. This year, Fox settled the Dominion lawsuit by agreeing to pay an unprecedented $787.5 million to the voting machine company. The defamation suit filed by Smartmatic against Fox is still open.
Powell later told a House select committee that his company, Sidney Powell PC, and not the Trump campaign, paid the aides who helped make these election-related claims.
“When the money was donated, I wanted to make sure it was paid,” he said in an interview with the House panel. “That’s all I remember about that part. I paid them.”
FEC records show that no payments from Trump and his allies went to Powell’s law firm.
But his nonprofit group, Defending The Republic, has raised more than $16 million since the November 2020 election, according to the group’s 990 tax forms. The group does not disclose its donors, and it is unclear how much of that money went into Powell’s personal coffers.
Powell did not respond to a request for comment.