Russia Probe: Trump Aide Struggles to Pay Legal Defense

Michael Caputo, a former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, has claimed the ongoing federal probe into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia has taken such a financial burden on him that he's been forced to dip into his children’s college funds to pay for an attorney.

Caputo, who had worked in the Trump campaign’s communications department, has a hired a New York based attorney to assist in the ongoing investigation. He told The Washington Examiner he is struggling to pay for a legal defense team, because it requires a certain kind of attorney that is costly but competent.

"It's very expensive and nobody's called me and offered to help," said Caputo. "The problem is, it's very specialized representation, so it takes a certain type of attorney, and they're quite competent. And you'll pay for competency.”


REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Caputo said the probe was politically motivated toward “destroying” the campaign's allies. He told the publication he had received death threats, which is also causing him a great deal of financial stress.

“We've had to install security. I've had to take security precautions at both my home and at my office, and with my children, so these all add up very quickly," he said.

Caputo’s grievances come as Special Counsel Robert Mueller dives deeper into the probe. Mueller is looking into social media’s connection to Russia’s interference with the election and Trump’s financial ties to Russia.

Although Caputo has not had any assistance in paying for his legal aid, a few members of Trump’s team have had their legal services paid for. The Trump campaign paid $50,000 for Donald Trump Jr.’s attorney back in June.

"It's legal for the campaign to pay any legal expenses arising out of the campaign," said Larry Noble back in June, general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group.

Other Presidents like Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton have also brought in lawyers to the White House to handle explosive issues. Like Clinton, Trump has a lot of private lawyers in addition to White House Counsel.

During his campaign, Trump bragged about his wealth.

"I don't need anybody's money; it's nice," he said when he announced his candidacy in June 2015. "I don't need anybody's money. I'm using my own money. I'm not using the lobbyists'. I'm not using donors'. I don't care. I'm really rich."

After winning the Republican nomination for president, the Trump campaign began accepting donations.

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