The Republican National Committee paid over $160,000 to a law firm that is defending former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. The payment was made a month before his testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee.
The RNC paid $166,390 to the office of Mintz Levin for "legal and compliance services," according to the committee's monthly financial disclosure filing. The payment was made to the "Mintz Levin Firm Account," the document says. Lewandowski is being represented by Peter Chavkin, one of the firm's top white collar defense attorneys.
The National Law Journal noted that Chavkin was present at Lewandowski's Judiciary hearing last week. Lewandowski made headlines during his testimony by appearing to dodge many questions related to special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russia probe.
It was not immediately clear whether the RNC's payment was intended for services related to Lewandowski's defense. Chavkin, the RNC and Lewandowski did not return requests for comment.
The RNC also paid other law firms last month that have ties to Trump. The committee paid $15,000 to Raskin & Raskin, which is part of Trump's legal defense team, and more than $125,000 to Wiley Rein. The latter firm has been linked to the Patriot Legal Expense Fund, which was created to help with legal costs for Trump associates ensnared by the Russia investigation.
The payment to the firm representing Lewandowski marks the first time the RNC has paid Chavkin's firm since the start of the Russia investigation. In September 2018, the Trump campaign itself paid Mintz over $170,000 for "legal consulting," records show. Overall, the RNC spent over $16 million on a variety of items last month and raised $23 million. It wrapped up August with $53.8 million on hand.
Mueller described Lewandowski as one of Trump's closest confidants and said he was ordered to tell then Attorney General Jeff Sessions to publicly call the Mueller investigation "very unfair." Lewandowski was also challenged by House Judiciary attorney Barry Berke about his apparent misstatements during various media appearances.