Speed Reads

campaign finance

Trump is paying his former bodyguard's legal fees with Trump campaign money

President Trump's "loyal lieutenant" is apparently getting some loyalty in return from his longtime employer.

The legal team representing Trump's former bodyguard, Keith Schiller, has received more than $66,000 from the Trump campaign, NBC News reported Tuesday. Schiller, who was Trump's bodyguard until he left the White House last year, was one of the president's longtime fixers. Hired in 1999, Schiller allegedly helped facilitate Trump's rumored extramarital affairs, made McDonald's runs, and protected Trump from unwanted conversations, The Daily Beast reports.

But newly filed campaign records, reported by NBC News, show that Trump is willing to go to bat for Schiller, too. The Trump campaign shelled out to the law firm that represents Schiller in January — for reasons that Schiller's legal representation declined to explain.

Campaign finance laws dictate that campaign money can only go toward legal fees if the legal matter pertains to the campaign, experts told NBC News. Such funds cannot be used for personal legal expenses.

Schiller reportedly told the House Intelligence Committee that he turned down an offer to send five women to Trump's hotel room while Schiller and Trump were in Moscow in 2013. NBC News reports that he likely told the same story to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into the Trump campaign's potential involvement with Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Investigators may have asked Schiller about more recent events that are tied to the campaign too, experts said.

The Trump campaign has put 20 percent of its total spending towards legal fees in 2018, records show. Around $348,000 has gone towards the law firm representing the Trump campaign in the special counsel investigation. Another $288,000 has gone to a firm representing Donald Trump Jr. Read more at NBC News.