RNC member trying to prevent organization from paying Trump’s legal bills

A member of the Republican National Committee is floating a pair of resolutions that would require the conservative organization to remain neutral until a presidential nominee is chosen and prevent them from paying former President Donald Trump’s growing legal tab.

Henry Barber, a longtime committeeman from Mississippi, is circulating the resolutions ahead of the RNC’s meeting in March. 

“We brought forth these two resolutions to make sure there is a serious discussion about protecting the primary process while there are still two candidates competing and preventing the RNC from paying the legal bills of any political candidate unrelated to the election cycle,” Mr. Barber told NBC news. 

The first resolution would prohibit the RNC from working with Mr. Trump or fundraising with his campaign until he wins enough delegates to be the party’s nominee. The RNC and its leadership would “stay neutral throughout the Presidential primary and not take on additional staff from any of the active Presidential campaigns until a nominee is clearly determined by reaching 1,215 delegates,” according to the resolution. 

Though Mr. Trump has bulldozed his way through each GOP primary contest so far, and is expected to beat former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in her home state on Saturday, the ex-president has not been officially named as the party’s nominee. 

Ms. Haley has also vowed to stay in the race for some time, even if she loses in South Carolina. 

Mr. Barber’s second resolution would prevent the RNC from paying “the legal bills of any of our candidates for any federal or state office, but will focus our spending on efforts directly related to the 2024 election cycle.”

His effort comes after some Republicans raised concerns that Mr. Trump was attempting to take over the organization to effectively pay off his mounting legal fees. Mr. Trump has been ordered to pay over $400 million after losses in a defamation trial and civil fraud trial in New York this year. 

Mr. Trump has endorsed North Carolina Republican Party Chair Michael Whatley to replace embattled RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel. He has also floated his current campaign co-chair Chris LaCivita to take over as the chief operating officer of the RNC, and nominated his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who has said that voters would approve of the RNC paying her father-in-law’s legal bills, to act as co-chair of the conservative committee.

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