- The Washington Times
Friday, May 25, 2018

A legal defense fund established for Michael Caputo, a former adviser to President Trump’s election campaign, will begin covering the legal costs incurred by other Trump associates “caught up” in the government’s investigation into the 2016 race, its trustees said Friday.

The Michael Caputo Legal Fund raised over $300,000 in a single week, easily surpassing the $125,000 it sought to cover the costs of bills related to the Republican strategist’s appearance before federal investigators, the trust said in a statement.

“With his fees so far paid in full, Michael asked us to consider assisting others caught up in this partisan witch hunt,” said principal trustee Ralph Lorigo. “Our articles of trust allow such expenditures, and we believe his donors support this decision.”

J.D. Gordon, a former Pentagon spokesman who acted as the director of national security to Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign, has been chosen as the fund’s next recipient, the statement said.

Like Mr. Caputo, Mr. Gordon, a 50-year-old retired Navy commander, faces legal bills related to his testimonies before congressional investigators and the Department of Justice special counsel’s office as part of their probes into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential race, according to the trust.

Investigators in the House, Senate and Justice Department are examining potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia as part of their election probes. Mr. Gordon attended at least two meetings in the months before Mr. Trump’s victory of interest to authorities.

Mr. Gordon previously acknowledged participating in a March 2016 meeting between Mr. Trump and his foreign policy team in which fellow campaign adviser George Papadopoulos allegedly said that he had could help arrange a meeting the future president and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Papadopoulos, 30, has since been charged by the special counsel’s office and pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI.

Mr. Gordon also previously acknowledged attending a July 2016 meeting during which the Republican Party agreed adjust its platform on Ukraine, a former Soviet state and one of Russia’s top adversaries.

“Supporting President Trump has drawn the wrath of countless Democrats, Never Trump Republicans, media and even spies who appear committed to ruining our lives and reputations by any means necessary,” Mr. Gordon said Friday statement. “My legal costs were coming straight out of my military retirement pay, so this kindness and generosity is tremendously helpful.”

Mr. Caputo, meanwhile, lived in Moscow for several years prior to becoming a communications adviser to the Trump campaign and previously conducted business with Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned energy giant.

Russia has denied interfering in Mr. Trump’s election, and the White House has denied colluding with the Kremlin.

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.