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Trump’s payoff to Stormy Daniels probably violated several election laws, attorney says

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A payment made by President Donald Trump late in the campaign to porn actress Stormy Daniels may have violated federal election law.

Trump sent his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to pay the actress $130,000 in hush money shortly before the Nov. 8, 2016, election, according to the Wall Street Journal — which attorney J. Whitfield Larrabee said appears to be a violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA).

The Republican presidential candidate was still trying to contain the damage from the “Access Hollywood” tape when Fox News and other outlets began looking into reports that Trump and Daniels had an affair.

Larrabee said the payment to Daniels likely came from the Trump Organization, where Cohen served as lawyer and executive vice president, and would violate the FECA ban on corporate contributions to candidates and campaign committees.

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“Because the payment came near the end of Trump campaign, and was made to aid the campaign by purchasing the silence of Daniels, it amounted to an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign,” Larrabee said.

The law considers all expenditures made by anyone in consultation or at the request of a candidate’s campaign to be a prohibited in-kind contribution.

“By paying off Daniels for the Trump campaign, Trump, The Trump Organization and Cohen likely committed federal crimes,” Larrabee said.

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The attorney said Trump’s payoff to the actress also appears to have violated FECA’s $2,700 contribution limit by nearly 50 times over — and he said the value of Cohen’s services probably violated the same limit.

On top of all that, Larrabee said, the possibly illegal payoff was almost certainly not reported by Trump in required public disclosures to the Federal Election Commission — which would also be a federal crime.

Trump and Cohen could have broken laws against criminal conspiracy if they knowingly skirted federal election law, which Larrabee believes they did.

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“Trump has been prosecuted for campaign finance violations in the past, and he knows the law quite well,” Larrabee said. “Where contributions have an aggregate value of over $25,000, as is the case with Daniel’s payoff, each violation is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in the federal prison.”

Larrabee, who has filed ethics complaints against Florida attorney general Pam Bondi and failed Senate candidate Roy Moore, said he intends to request a U.S. Justice Department investigation and to file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission by the end of the month.

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Right-wing bigots target North Carolina concert by African band that stood up to Islamists

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Responding to hate, a Winston-Salem music venue rallies the community behind what just might be the greatest band in the world.

The comments in response to two sponsored posts on Facebook promoting an upcoming Winston-Salem concert by the Grammy-winning and internationally-acclaimed group Tinariwen came in a steady drip of loathing, vitriol and menace.

This article first appeared in the Triad City Beat.

One commenter from Smithfield wrote on July 13: “Gotta bring my AR, too….”

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Trump busted for doubling down on his racist rants before Mueller speaks: ‘He’s scared’

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Appearing on CNN's "New Day," a former adviser to Bill Clinton said that he expects ex-special counsel Robert Mueller to make a some blunt statements about President Donald Trump in his upcoming appearance before a Congressional committee that will cause voters to turn on the president.

According to Guy Smith, who advised former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment ordeal, Mueller's own words will carry tremendous weight with voters who have no idea what is in his report on the president.

"Well, what we're going to see is people who have never read the report, which is most everybody, and they have only heard President Trump and the attorney general say he's been exonerated. It does not," he told host Christi Paul. "So, what's going to happen is that they're going to be hearing Robert Mueller in his own words say that the president obstructed justice. The American people have not read this thing."

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Trump ramps up new Twitter attack on four female Democratic lawmakers — raging they are ‘weak & insecure’

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Faced with a continuing firestorm over last Sunday's racist Twitter attack on four Democratic lawmakers -- who all happen to be women of color -- President Donald Trump was again returned to Twitter to attack the women instead of letting the issue die.

Moments after he used Twitter to attack the Washington Post for reporting on the turmoil he created -- which has been unversally condemned by Democrats and conservatives alike -- the president thought it was a good time to add fuel to the fire.

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