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Draft RNC resolution would block payment of candidate's legal bills

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Two draft resolutions circulated by a member of the Republican National Committee call on the party to adopt proposals that would keep it from having to pay for any presidential candidate's legal fees and would also make it party policy to remain neutral in the Republican presidential primaries. 

The first of the proposals, drafted by longtime RNC member Henry Barbour, states that the party should not coordinate with any candidate before he or she wins enough delegates — 1,215 — to become the GOP nominee. 

"The Republican National Committee must serve as a neutral player in primaries," the proposal reads, pointing to RNC Rule 11, which states the party shall not "contribute money or in-kind aid to any candidate for any public or party office of that state, except the nominee of the Republican Party or a candidate who is unopposed in the Republican Primary after the filing deadline for that office." 

Former President Donald Trump has so far won all three of the early voting contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. South Carolina held its GOP primary Saturday. Trump's campaign recently sent out a memo saying it hoped to reach the delegate threshold by March 19 at the latest. 

The former president plans to install senior campaign adviser Chris LaCivita to serve as chief operating officer of the RNC, a move that would increase coordination between his campaign and the party before he has officially clinched the nomination. 

The second proposal asks the RNC to block the party from paying the legal bills of "either former president Donald Trump or former Ambassador Nikki Haley unrelated to this 2024 Presidential election." 

This comes as hundreds of millions of dollars in fees and fines related to Trump's various legal battles are piling up. Two political action committees associated with Trump have already spent over $50 million in legal fees last year, according to Federal Election Commission reports. 

"Spending any RNC financial resources for any candidate's personal, business, or political legal expenses, not related to the 2024 election cycle, does not serve the RNC's primary mission of helping to elect our candidates in 2024," the proposal reads. 

CNN was the first to report on the draft resolution. 

The Trump campaign slammed the proposals, calling them "absurd." 

"The primary is over and it is the RNC's sole responsibility to defeat Joe Biden and win back the White House," said LaCivita. "Efforts to delay that assist Joe Biden in the destruction of our nation. Republicans cannot stand on the sidelines and allow this to happen."

Last month, the RNC reportedly pulled a resolution to consider declaring Trump the party's "presumptive 2024 nominee" before he formally clinched the requisite number of delegates.

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