Some of Donald Trump's top allies are setting up a legal fund for former aides caught up in the congressional investigation of the Jan. 6 riot.
Leading conservative activist Matt Schlapp and his wife, Mercedes, who served as Trump's director of strategic communications, have created a "First Amendment fund" for former Trump aides who have been subpoenaed by the House select committee, and their legal defense would come from the law firm associated with former acting attorney general Matt Whitaker, reported "Rolling Stone."
"Matt Schlapp, Mercedes Schlapp, and Matt Whitaker offered to pay for everyone's legal fees except" for two people under subpoena, said an attorney familiar with the legal fund. "They're doing it all through Whitaker's firm in Kansas City."
Whitaker returned to to the firm Graves Garrett after serving nearly four months as Trump's acting attorney general at the height of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, and an attorney working on matters related to the Jan. 6 probe said it was clear the attorneys being paid by the Schlapps want a window into the House investigation.
"They wanted to know sh*t," the attorney said.
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Sources said they will go toward the legal defense of four of the twice-impeached one-term president's former aides linked to the "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the violent insurrection.
"The four individuals who were part of this group and are being represented by the fund include Maggie Mulvaney, a former Trump campaign worker who's also the niece of former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney; Tim Unes, who worked with Trump's campaign and now runs an event management firm called Event Strategies Inc.; Justin Caporale, Unes' partner at Event Strategies who formerly worked in Trump's White House as a lead advance representative; and Megan Powers, a political consultant and erstwhile Trump campaign aide," "Rolling Stone" reported. The attorney offers a succinct response when asked if the legal fund established by the Trump allies is helping any of the ex-president's supporters who broke into the halls of Congress.
The funds will not go toward the legal defense for any of the hundreds of Trump supporters who went inside the U.S. Capitol after leaving the rally at the Ellipse.
"Oh, f*ck no," the attorney said. "Their fund is to defend the people that put on the Trump rally."
More from Salon's coverage on the aftermath of Jan. 6:
- What if the truth about Jan. 6 is revealed — and the American people just don't care?
- Jan. 6 organizers say they held "dozens" of planning meetings with House Republicans
- Adam Schiff on Jan. 6, Republican lies big and small — and prosecuting Donald Trump
- White terror: Millions of Americans say they'd support violence to restore Trump to power