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‘This was covered up illegally’: Bush ethics lawyer explains legal jeopardy of Stormy Daniels hush money

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The former chief White House ethics lawyer during the George W. Bush administration explained how it appears long-time Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen broke the law with the notorious hush money payment to a former porn star.

“The White House is pushing back against the president’s alleged relationship with a porn star and the $130,000 payment made to her,” MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi noted. “Stormy Daniels claims she can now talk about her intimate relationship with President Trump because he never signed their hush agreement.”

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“The president’s lawyer also says he was not reimbursed for that $130,000 payment,” the host noted. “The White House spokesperson said she’s unaware of whether Cohen ever discussed the payment with the president and Trump’s lawyer says the president vehemently denies there was a sexual encounter with Daniels.”

Velshi introduced former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter, currently a law professor at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and vice-chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

“Of course there is the broader ethical issue, that he’s been married three times and has apparently cheated on all three of his wives,” Painter noted. “And he takes his oath of office to uphold the constitution about as seriously as he has taken his marriage vows.”

“That is not a question that the special prosecutor or Congress is going to look into. What is legally relevant here is that this LLC that held this $130,000 should have been on his Form 278 financial disclosure form,” he explained. “If the lawyer had paid this money out of his own funds, without expectation of reimbursement, then that is a campaign contribution and that should have been disclosed to the federal election commission.”

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“So either way, this was covered up, probably covered up illegally, and that itself can be a crime,” Painter concluded. “So we need to get to the bottom of this, but it shows the president should not be trusted by his wives or the American people.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump slurs media as ‘fake and corrupt’ for disputing his claims about Elton John

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President Donald Trump hyped his claims about selling out a New Hampshire rally in a new attack on the news media.

The president insisted Monday that he enjoyed "massive overflow crowds" at his rally last week at SNHU Arena in Manchester, and slurred journalists as "fake and corrupt" for reporting the venue wasn't filled to capacity.

The Fake and Corrupt Media is sooo bad for our Country, The Enemy of the People! https://t.co/GPiklem0u1

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019

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George Conway erupts on Trump lackeys who are smearing Scaramucci: ‘These people work for a rapist!’

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Several anonymous Trump officials told the Washington Examiner this week that former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci regularly abused staff members in the 11 short days in which he was employed by the president.

George Conway, the husband of Trump White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, lashed out on Tuesday at the Trump officials who anonymously attacked Scaramucci and accused them of overlooking President Donald Trump's own abusive behavior.

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Fifth NRA board member resigns over ongoing power struggle with embattled CEO Wayne LaPierre

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Another member of the National Rifle Association's board of directors has resigned -- marking the fifth high-profile departure in recent weeks from the powerful gun manufacturer lobbying group.

NRA board member Richard Childress, a former NASCAR driver and owner of a car racing enterprise, resigned Monday in a letter obtained by Newsweek.

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