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Trump Is Not Paying for His Co-Defendants' Defense

But Donald Trump's own legal woes aren't his only legal woes. He has 18 co-defendants in the Georgia RICO case and six unindicted co-conspirators in the D.C. case. There is an excellent chance that Special Counsel Jack Smith is going to indict the latter, and possibly some of the former, sooner or later. All in all, that is almost two dozen people who are probably in a position to rat on Trump—because switching sides and helping the prosecution could save them millions of dollars in legal fees and get them a fine and a short prison sentence instead of millions in lawyers' fees and years in prison.

Four of his co-defendants in the RICO case have turned to crowdfunding. Cathy Latham raised $8,630 when we reported on her last Monday. She is now up to $17,790. If she continues to take in $10,000 a week, it will take her until March 2024 to raise the $300,000 she thinks she needs, and typically, the big fundraising is at the beginning, when the person is in the news, not 4-6 months later.

One of the other co-defendants spent a week in jail because he couldn't find a local attorney and the public defender turned him down for undisclosed reasons (maybe he earns too much). Is Trump going to pay for any of his co-defendants' legal costs? Nope. He has said he won't and that he doesn't even know a lot of them. Just because they aren't as famous as Trump doesn't mean that their legal costs will be lower, though. If the RICO case goes on for 2, 3, 4, or more months, which is common for complex RICO cases, they have to keep paying their lawyers the whole time. It's going to add up. Latham may be fooling herself that $300,000 will be enough.

One small hope for them is that Trump's adult sons, Eric and Donald Jr., have formed a legal defense fund that could help the co-defendants. But will people give big money to defend people like Latham who are not rock star-type criminals?

A few of the co-defendants are well-known enough to raise serious money on their own. John Eastman, who became famous for flogging the "fake electors" scheme dreamed up by Ken "The Cheese" Chesebro, has raised $500,000 so far. But he is in very big trouble—much more than, say, Latham, who is a pawn in the case. Jeffrey Clark, who is more of a knight rather than a pawn (or a rook, like Eastman) has raised only $56,000. Jenna Ellis, a right-wing attorney who represented Trump in 2020, has raised $180,000 on the Christian site GiveSendGo. She is also more involved than a low-level pawn like Latham. Call her a bishop. She has openly complained: "I totally agree this has become a bigger principle than just one man. So why isn't MAGA, Inc. funding everyone's defense?" Conservative leader Matt Schlapp said he has had political differences with Ellis, but she is being prosecuted for her beliefs. He's not going to help her, though, because he has is own legal troubles. He has been sued by a male staffer to former Senate candidate Herschel Walker for "aggressively fondling the staffer's genital area in a sustained fashion." After that, Schlapp invited the staffer to visit his hotel room, which the staffer declined. Schlapp denies the allegations, but within hours of the alleged incident, the staffer told four other staffers about it. They will surely be called as witnesses if the case goes to trial.

Going back to our chess analogy, the queen is Rudy Giuliani. If you can't figure out who the king is, that suggests either: (1) you don't play chess, or (2) this is your first day on our site, in which case, "Welcome!" Giuliani made a personal appeal to Trump to pay his legal costs, but Trump refused, although he did cover the bill Giuliani ran up with a data vendor.

Giuliani is central to the D.C. case and the Georgia case, and knows everything, but so far has kept his mouth shut. He just lost a lawsuit to the two Georgia election workers he defamed. The judge has ordered him to pay $133,000 right now to the women to cover their legal fees—and this is before a trial later this year or early next year to determine how much he has to pay the women for their pain and suffering, which is expected to be in the millions.

Giuliani's lawyers have said he is facing mounting "financing troubles" due to his burn rate on legal representation. That is why he is trying to sell his co-op apartment for $6.5 million. But there could be one or more mortgages on it, so he might not clear $6.5 million even if he sells it for that price. And then there are multiple fees and taxes to be paid.

Giuliani's former backers are turning their, well, backs on him. Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman, who contributed to his disastrous and short-lived 2008 presidential run, said: "I wouldn't give him a nickel. He was 'America's mayor.' He did a great job. And like everybody else who gets involved with Trump, it turns to sh*t." NASCAR CEO Brian France, another former Giuliani backer, said he was disappointed in how Giuliani has transformed from what he once was to what he now is. (V)

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