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RNC lawyer Charlie Spies to step down just 2 months after taking the job

RNC lawyer Charlie Spies to step down just 2 months after taking the job

Republican National Committee chief counsel Charlie Spies is parting ways with the party apparatus just months after stepping into the role. He was “pushed out,” according to a source familiar with the move.

“Charlie approached RNC Chief of Staff, Chris LaCivita, about potential time commitment conflicts and it was agreed that, while we appreciate and value Charlie’s expertise and professionalism, he cannot do this role full time and still maintain the obligations to his law firm that he has spent years successfully building,” said RNC spokesperson Danielle Alvarez in a statement first to NBC News.

Spies did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday night.

NBC News previously reported that Spies was hired in March to lead the committee’s legal efforts amid the RNC leadership overhaul, when former President Donald Trump endorsed Michael Whatley to helm the organization, effectively reshaping the committee in his image.

Spies was previously described by a campaign official as “the best at what he does, knows the FEC loopholes better than anyone” but a “gun for hire.”

However, Spies was not a fan of the former president.

He previously worked for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during the GOP primary. The longtime Republican lawyer is known for expanding the use of super PACs after the landmark Citizens United decision.

Spies was also behind Right to Rise, the super PAC that Jeb Bush used during the 2016 cycle to raise a record-breaking $100 million in the months before formally announcing his candidacy. Spies filed a complaint in 2015 with the Federal Election Commission against the Trump Organization while in his super PAC role.

Spies has also worked with Rep. John James, R-Mich., and served in Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign.

His wife, Lisa Spies, a well-known GOP fundraiser, has been working for the campaign heading up donor coalitions. Lisa Spies was a fundraiser for DeSantis before joining the Trump campaign.

The chief counsel’s hiring came as Whatley took the helm of the organization in March. Whatley was hand-picked by Trump along with the former president’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump as co-chair.

Whatley’s predecessor as RNC chair, Ronna McDaniel, had resigned after facing internal party criticism and public skepticism from the former president.

Spies has also previously rejected election-related conspiracy theories that have been touted by Trump allies.

In a statement responding to reports of Spies being “pushed out” of the RNC, Alex Floyd, the Democratic National Committee rapid response director, said that Trump’s takeover of the RNC has led to “an election denier litmus test for new hires” and speculated that Spies was “purged for disagreeing with Trump’s dangerous conspiracy theories” about the 2020 election.

In 2021, Spies publicly contradicted false claims about voting machines switching votes. When asked during a Conservative Political Action Conference panel about what to do about voting machines switching votes, he pushed back against the false conspiracy theory that has been backed by Trump allies.

“I may get booed off the stage for this, but I have to say that’s simply not true. There is just zero evidence that’s true,” Spies said at the time.

Dasha Burns

Dasha Burns is a correspondent for NBC News.

Olympia Sonnier

Olympia Sonnier is a field producer for NBC News. 

Abigail Brooks

Abigail Brooks is a producer for NBC News.

Megan Lebowitz

Megan Lebowitz is a politics reporter for NBC News.

Nnamdi Egwuonwu

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