The Republican National Committee played a much larger role in helping people involved in the Russia investigation than previously believed.

RNC Paid Out Law Firm Hired By Hope Hicks

According to The Washington Post on Sunday, the RNC paid around $450,000 in April to Trout Cacheris & Janis, the law firm representing former White House communications director Hope Hicks and other clients involved in the Russia probe.

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President Donald Trump‘s 2016 campaign team and the RNC have both previously admitted in September 2017 to paying legal bills for the president and other people being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller and other federal authorities. According to Politico, the RNC paid $230,000 last year in legal fees to help Trump, and nearly the same amount for legal bills to assist his eldest son Donald Trump Jr. 

Hicks, 29, resigned as Trump’s communications director in March after roughly seven months of holding that position. She admitted to having told “white lies” for the president in some of her public statements, although she claimed to have never lied about anything related to the Russia inquiry. A former model with no prior experience in politics, Hicks replaced the brash Anthony Scaramucci as communications director following Scaramucci’s unceremonious ousting after a two-week tenure. She was also romantically linked to two former Trump associates: Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s first campaign chairman, and Rob Porter, an aide who was dismissed following allegations that he had physically assaulted two of his ex-wives. Hicks was reportedly upset with the tense and combative atmosphere during her time in the White House.

The RNC’s financial disclosure on Sunday is its first since Hicks hired Trout. The committee reportedly started collecting money it had saved for election recounts and other matters in order to pay for the legal fees of Trump and any of his associates involved in the Russia probe.

The Post reported that the RNC raised $12.7 million in April for a total of $173.9 million during the 2018 cycle. Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee raised $7.8 million in April and $92.2 million in the 2018 cycle.