Trump Campaign Criticizes RNC Draft Resolutions on Control and Legal Fees

Amidst internal party dynamics, the RNC faces financial hurdles

by Zain ul Abedin
Trump Campaign Criticizes RNC Draft Resolutions on Control and Legal Fees
© Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

In a recent turn of events, the campaign of former President Donald Trump has strongly opposed two draft resolutions proposed within the Republican National Committee (RNC). These resolutions are seen as significant moves to curb Trump's apparent smooth path to securing the Republican presidential nomination for the third consecutive time.

The first of these resolutions calls for the RNC to maintain neutrality in the presidential nomination race until Trump gathers the required 1,215 delegates. The second resolution is aimed at preventing the RNC from covering Trump's legal expenses.

This move has sparked considerable debate within the party, as Trump’s campaign emphasizes the urgency of focusing on defeating Joe Biden and reclaiming the White House. Chris LaCivita, a senior Trump campaign adviser, stated that any delay in this process only aids Biden and harms the nation.

LaCivita, who is Trump’s choice for the RNC's chief operating officer role, has been vocal in his criticism of these draft resolutions. Additionally, Trump has been advocating for significant changes in the RNC leadership, including his daughter-in-law Lara Trump for the co-chair position and Michael Whatley, the North Carolina GOP Chair, to replace Ronna McDaniel as the party chair.

These proposed changes are set to be discussed during the RNC's upcoming meeting in Houston from March 7-9. The origins of these resolutions trace back to Henry Barbour, an RNC committee member from Mississippi, and were first reported by The Dispatch.

These drafts appear as a counteraction to another resolution from January, which sought to declare Trump the presumptive nominee. This earlier resolution, advocated by David Bossie, an RNC committeeman and former deputy Trump campaign manager, did not gain Trump’s support, citing the need for party unity.

RNC Financial Challenges

The financial aspect of these resolutions is also noteworthy. The RNC, which previously covered some of Trump's legal costs, ceased this support when he announced his candidacy for reelection in November 2022.

This decision was highlighted by Lara Trump, who referenced a GoFundMe campaign initiated to assist Trump with his legal fees. However, a senior Trump adviser later dismissed the idea of RNC funding Trump's legal battles. The RNC's current financial situation adds another layer to this complex scenario.

The organization reported one of its weakest fundraising performances in recent years, with just $87.2 million collected in the last year and $8 million cash on hand, a stark contrast to the Democrat National Committee's stronger financial standing.

Trump, in response, has been utilizing Super PAC funds to manage his legal expenses, reportedly tapping into $48 million last year for this purpose. As the GOP gears up for its next nominating contest in Michigan on February 27, Trump's campaign remains confident in securing the necessary delegates well ahead of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, scheduled for July 15-18.

The campaign anticipates clinching the nomination by March 19, following Trump's recent primary win in South Carolina. This dynamic political landscape within the Republican Party underscores the ongoing debates and strategic maneuvers as it prepares for the upcoming presidential election.