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Melania Trump's speechwriter is absent from campaign's June expenses

Questions surface over Melania Trump's speechwriter pay

CLEVELAND— If Donald Trump's campaign is paying his company for the services of one of its writers, it did not report doing so in June.

The Trump campaign did not appear to list expenses related to Meredith McIver, a Trump Organization "in-house" writer who worked on Melania Trump's controversial Republican National Convention speech. Because McIver works for the Trump Organization and not the campaign, her work on the speech may run afoul of campaign laws if the company is not compensated for her services.

It would not, however, be an issue if she worked as a volunteer.

The data released Wednesday night go only through the end of June. The speech took place on Monday, meaning the campaign could report paying for McIver's work after the start of July. Those numbers are not reported until next month.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the filing.

Earlier Wednesday, McIver took the blame for Melania Trump's speech that bore similarities to one first lady Michelle Obama gave in 2008. By clearing up the responsibility for the speech, the campaign stirred legal questions.

Experts said the statement Wednesday raises questions about whether the Trump campaign is following contribution rules.

"If she was providing speech writing services to the Trump campaign while being paid by the organization, the Trump Organization would have made, and the campaign would have accepted, an illegal contribution, unless the campaign paid the company for her speech writing services," said Larry Noble, general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center and former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission.

Noble said that, if the campaign tries to represent McIver's speech writing as volunteer work, it would not match up with the explanation given Wednesday. In the statement on Trump Organization letterhead, McIver said she was an "in-house staff writer."

If she did not get compensated, McIver would also have to explain that she did not do the work on company time or with company resources.