The Republican National Committee last month paid $2 million to a law firm that employs the former White House counsel Donald McGahn and serves as the Trump campaign’s main legal firm — the largest RNC payment to the firm recorded in recent years.
The payment to Washington law firm Jones Day was disclosed in new Federal Election Commission records Monday night, as a part of routine political committee filings made public every month.
The RNC said in a statement that the payment was a bulk billing for two years’ worth of work.
The payments went to Jones Day the same month that the House Judiciary Committee began seeking McGahn’s testimony in connection with its investigation into potential obstruction of justice by Trump. McGahn delivered key testimony on the matter that was documented in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report.
On Tuesday, McGahn was a no-show at a hearing in front of the committee, which had issued a subpoena for him to testify.
Jones Day is the main legal firm for the Trump campaign, which has paid the firm $5.6 million between January 2017 and March 2019 for legal consulting.
The $2 million payment was higher than previous payouts from the RNC to the firm. It made up the majority of what the committee has paid the firm so far in 2019, and it greatly exceeded payments to the firm in the 2018 election cycle, when the RNC reported spending about $25,000 in legal and compliance services to Jones Day.
The majority of the $2 million encompassed “routine campaign and election-related legal expenses that have accrued over the course of the last few years while we worked to finalize the amounts owed,” the RNC statement read.
The RNC has spent $2.7 million in legal fees so far this year, compared to $2 million by the Democratic National Committee.
McGahn previously was a partner at Jones Day from 2014 to 2017, when he left to join the White House. He returned to the firm in March 2019, according to the firm’s announcement.
Jones Day did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect legal fee figures for 2019, rather than since 2017.