Welcome to Pay Dirt—exclusive reporting and research from The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay on corruption, campaign finance, and influence-peddling in the nation’s capital. For Beast Inside members only.
The controversial financial vehicle that President Donald Trump used to pay his aides’ and allies’ legal bills has refused to provide key details about the disbursement of hundreds of thousands of dollars. But with the Mueller saga in the rear-view mirror, some of those details are now coming into focus.
The Patriot Legal Expense Fund Trust, as the legal defense fund was dubbed, shelled out nearly half a million dollars to some of Washington’s top white-shoe law firms. The group was not required to disclose whose legal bills it was actually paying. But personal financial-disclosure filings first reported by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reveal the legal defense fund paid legal bills for senior White House policy aide Stephen Miller, social media director Dan Scavino, and Avi Berkowitz, a top aide to Jared Kushner.