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Former President Donald Trump’s political action committee has paid nearly half a million dollars to support the legal fees of his closest allies, amid the January 6th House Select Committee hearings, in a move that CNN Legal Analyst Elie Honig characterized as fairly common.

According to a review of financial records by ABC News, Trump’s Save America PAC has paid multiple law firms with attorneys representing those specifically targeted by the January 6th committee investigation.

The PAC started payments when the committee was confirmed last summer and has continued the payments throughout the course of the hearings.

There are at least five law firms receiving said payments totaling $471,000.

Former White House aides Stephen Bannon and Peter Navarro, and Trump’s former special assistant Dan Scavino are all key allies of Trump whose attorneys’ firms have received payments from Save America PAC. These three men have also engaged in conflict with the committee in an attempt to not cooperate with the requests of the investigation.

This is a subject of worry for those sitting on the committee, as there are concerns that Trump’s payments may coerce witnesses into protecting the former president.

This news comes after former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified in front of the select committee.

Hutchinson was originally represented by former Trump White House lawyer Stefan Passantino, with Save America PAC paying for all of her legal bills. However, Hutchinson switched attorneys shortly before her testimony in Congress.

No longer represented by a Trump-provided attorney, Hutchinson delivered bombshell testimony that many political commentators assessed as damaging for the former president.

On CNN Newsroom, Honig was asked whether Trump’s PAC paying for legal fees of allies is problematic in the ethical sense.

“In some respects, this is quite normal,” responded Honig, “both in the criminal context and non-criminal context.”

Honig invoked his own experience saying that he has seen many times in drug trafficking cases, where the mafia “boss would pay for or provide everyone’s attorneys because that’s a good way to keep people from flipping.”

“But there’s also an innocuous version of this,” continued the legal analyst, acknowledging that in many corporate investigation cases, employees want their company to cover their legal fees simply because they are expensive.

Honig argues that “the inevitable consequence is it becomes more difficult to cooperate,” continuing that “now you’re potentially providing information against the person who is footing the bill.”

The legal analyst claimed that it is “not at all a coincidence,” that once Hutchinson decided to switch attorneys “she felt free and able to come forward with the new testimony.”

Honig concluded by saying “So this is very common, it’s not necessarily illegal, but it really does have a deterrent effect on people coming forward and cooperating.”

Watch above via CNN

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Tags: cassidy hutchinson dan scavino donald trump elie honig january 6 hearings peter navarro stephen bannon former trump white house the former president the legal analyst the legal analyst save america pac represented the committee legal fees continued committee the january

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Kash Patel Claims Trump Can Literally Stand Over a Set of Documents and Say These Are Now Declassified

Former Trump administration official Kash Patel defended former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents with the claim that “He can literally stand over a set of documents and say ‘these are now declassified.'”

Patel, formerly a Pentagon chief of staff, accompanied Trump Media & Technology Group CEO Devin Nunes for a Sunday joint interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo. Nunes, for his part, scoffed at the idea that Trump could face obstruction of justice charges for the classified documents reportedly found at Mar-a-Lago, and he gave new air to the idea that FBI “planted” dirt on the former president by claiming the FBI’s investigation was “basically created out of whole cloth.”

Instead of running with the “planted” evidence theory popular in Trumpworld, Patel took a different approach as Bartiromo asked him about Trump’s past declassification of documents. As he touted that Trump declassified “whole sets of documents,” Patel stressed that “the key fact [is] President Trump, as a sitting president, is a unilateral authority for declassification.”

“He can literally hand over a set of documents and say ‘these are now declassified,'” Patel said. “That is done with definitive action immediately.”

Despite Patel’s claim, the Washington Post has pointed out there is a process that documents typically go through if the president chooses to publicly declassify certain information. This is done to make sure the declassification doesn’t create a national security risk, and its unclear whether this process was applied to the Mar-a-Lago documents. The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman has also cast doubt on the claim that Trump declassified broad swaths of documents.

This all comes after Trump whined about the seizure of the documents after he previously cried “hoax” and suggested he was being framed. Instead of addressing any of that though, Patel railed at Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray by calling them “political hucksters” who “failed in their mission to uphold the law.”

Watch above, via Fox News.

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