Lawyer for Trump Jr. col­lected fees in June

Cam­paign paid for representation be­fore re­lease of Rus­sia emails

The Washington Post Sunday - - POLITICS & THE NATION - BY MARK BER­MAN AND MATEA GOLD mark.ber­man@wash­­ Tom Ham­burger and Ros­alind S. Hel­der­man con­trib­uted to this re­port.

Pres­i­dent Trump’s cam­paign com­mit­tee made a pay­ment last month to the law firm of an at­tor­ney rep­re­sent­ing Don­ald Trump Jr., nearly two weeks be­fore it was an­nounced that the same at­tor­ney would be rep­re­sent­ing the pres­i­dent’s son in Rus­sia-re­lated probes, ac­cord­ing to a cam­paign fi­nance re­port filed Satur­day.

The com­mit­tee re­ported in the fil­ing to the Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion that it paid $50,000 to the law firm of at­tor­ney Alan Futer­fas on June 27. The pay­ment was made 13 days be­fore it was pub­licly re­vealed that Futer­fas would rep­re­sent Trump’s el­dest son in the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

News of the pay­ment came as con­tro­versy has swirled in re­cent days around Trump Jr. and a meet­ing he held in June 2016 with a Krem­lin-con­nected lawyer who was said to have po­ten­tially dam­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion about Hil­lary Clin­ton, Trump Sr.’s op­po­nent in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

The fil­ing also showed that the cam­paign com­mit­tee paid the Trump Corp. — a com­pany be­ing run by Trump Jr. and his brother Eric — more than $89,000 on June 30 for “le­gal con­sult­ing.” While the cam­paign com­mit­tee has re­im­bursed Trump en­ti­ties for ser­vices such as rent, air travel and ho­tel ex­penses in the past, it has not re­ported pay­ments for le­gal fees, ac­cord­ing to FEC data.

Futer­fas did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to an email seek­ing com­ment Satur­day re­gard­ing the pay­ment to his law firm and when he be­gan rep­re­sent­ing Trump Jr. On Mon­day, two days af­ter Trump Jr.’s meet­ing was re­vealed by the New York Times, Futer­fas con­firmed that he was rep­re­sent­ing Trump Jr. but did not say when he was hired.

Trump Jr. has of­fered a se­ries of evolv­ing ex­pla­na­tions for his meet­ing with the Rus­sian lawyer — also at­tended by Jared Kush­ner, the pres­i­dent's son-in-law and se­nior aide, and Paul Manafort, the for­mer cam­paign chair — since it was made pub­lic.

He first said the meet­ing was about adop­tions, then ac­knowl­edged that it was set up with some­one who might have use­ful in­for­ma­tion for his fa­ther’s cam­paign. On Tues­day, Trump Jr. pub­licly re­leased an email ex­change show­ing that he was promised in­crim­i­nat­ing “high level” in­for­ma­tion on Clin­ton as “part of Rus­sia and its gov­ern­ment’s sup­port for” his fa­ther.

Trump Jr. had pre­vi­ously said he held no meetings with Rus­sians while “rep­re­sent­ing the cam­paign in any way, shape or form,” and he called the sug­ges­tion that Rus­sia was at­tempt­ing to help his fa­ther’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign “dis­gust­ing.” U.S. in­tel­li­gence agen­cies have con­cluded that Rus­sia sought to help elect Trump, a de­ter­mi­na­tion the pres­i­dent has pub­licly ques­tioned, and Congress and a spe­cial coun­sel are in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­leged col­lu­sion be­tween the Trump cam­paign and Rus­sia.

New de­tails have con­tin­ued to emerge about Trump Jr.’s meet­ing, in­clud­ing the rev­e­la­tion this week that a Rus­sian Amer­i­can lob­by­ist and Soviet military vet­eran was there. Futer­fas has said the meet­ing was in­signif­i­cant, telling The Wash­ing­ton Post on Fri­day that it was dif­fi­cult to re­call who at­tended that gath­er­ing be­cause it was unim­por­tant and too much time had passed.

The Trump cam­paign com­mit­tee fil­ing Satur­day also showed the com­mit­tee paid le­gal fees to Jones Day, the cam­paign’s prin­ci­pal law firm through­out the elec­tion. The firm was paid $538,265 be­tween early May and late June, ac­cord­ing to the fil­ing.

The com­mit­tee did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to re­quests for com­ment about the pay­ments to Futer­fas or the Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion, nor did Alan Garten, the chief le­gal of­fi­cer at the com­pany.

Ear­lier this year, Trump’s cam­paign com­mit­tee was asked by the Se­nate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee to gather and pro­duce Rus­sia-re­lated doc­u­ments, emails and phone records, draw­ing the po­lit­i­cal group into the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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