See you in court
President Trump's campaign has spent about $4 million on legal fees and consulting bills, a Politico analysis of Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings finds, including more than $500,000 since Election Day. By the same time in 2009, former President Obama's campaign had spent less than half that amount.
The money has mostly gone to a single law firm tasked with defending the campaign against civil lawsuits alleging, among other things, that the campaign or Trump himself incited violence in rally crowds, violated copyright law, and sent illegal mass texting blasts. In at least one case — involving a photographer who sued claiming a tweet shared by Donald Trump Jr. used his photo without obtaining permission — what appears to be a $10,000 settlement to end the suit was listed in FEC documents as a "legal consulting" payment to the photographer's lawyer.
In that case and others, lack of transparency is a common theme. "Basically, the Trump campaign was run just like the Trump Organization," Brett Kappel, an election law lawyer, told Politico. "Lawsuits are met with bluster and invective and then ultimately settled quietly with everyone involved required to sign nondisclosure agreements so that the public would not know that Trump, in fact, does settle many of the lawsuits against him and his family members."