Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington on June 15.
A top lawyer for President Trump this year sought to help pay legal fees for Paul Manafort and Richard Gates, initially trying to divert money from the White House legal defense fund and later soliciting donors and pledging $25,000 of his own.
In both cases, the president’s advisers objected to the lawyer’s actions over concerns it could appear aimed at stopping the two former aides from cooperating with investigators.
John Dowd, who at the time was heading Trump’s legal team, at the start of the year told associates of the president he wanted to direct money from the legal defense fund set up for White House officials and campaign aides to the lawyers for Manafort and Gates, according to people familiar with the matter. The pair had pleaded not guilty to charges of tax, bank and lobbying violations in the fall of 2017.
An expanded version of this article is available at WSJ.com.
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