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Porter’s legal fees paid in part by blind trust

He said he declared the arrangements “although these matters have been conducted in a personal capacity and all legal services were engaged in a purely personal capacity, out of an abundance of caution and consistent with approaches adopted by other parliamentarians in relation to the provision of reduced fee or pro bono legal services”.

“Although all of the above contributions were made to me, or were for my benefit, in a purely personal capacity, in the interest of transparency and out of an abundance of caution I make this disclosure,” Mr Porter wrote.

When asked who the trustee and directors of the Legal Services Trust are, a spokesman for Mr Porter said: “The minister has undertaken disclosure in accordance with the requirements of the register and consistent with previous members’ disclosure of circumstances where the costs of personal legal matters have been mitigated by contributions or reductions in fees”.

“No taxpayers’ funds were used in meeting the costs of the minister’s actions against the ABC and Milligan, which have now concluded.”

In May, Mr Porter was quizzed over who might be paying his legal fees and repeatedly said if he had anything he needed to disclose to Parliament, he would do so. He also said he would prefer not to have to resort to crowdfunding.


Labor and the Greens want Prime Minister Scott Morrison to demand his cabinet minister find out who donated to the fund and publicly disclose that information.

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said Mr Porter claiming not to know who had funded his legal fees was an “outrageous abuse of his office”.

“If Mr Porter genuinely doesn’t know who his donors are he shouldn’t accept their money. Did the money come from criminals? A foreign power? Apparently, Mr Porter doesn’t care,” Mr Dreyfus said.

Greens deputy leader Larissa Waters said it made a mockery of political donation laws that an unknown person could give an undisclosed amount of money to a minister to fund a defamation case.

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