President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is reportedly helping longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen pay his legal bills — and one expert says that this raises the possibility of witness tampering.
Sources tell ABC News that “the Trump campaign has spent nearly $228,000 to cover some of the legal expenses” for Cohen, whose office was raided by the FBI earlier this month.
ABC News says that these payments are “raising questions about whether the Trump campaign may have violated campaign finance laws,” as it is illegal to use campaign funds for personal use, which could be the case if Trump is using his campaign’s funds in a bid to get his longtime “fixer” off the hook for alleged crimes.
Norm Eisen, who served as the White House ethics chief under former President Barack Obama, writes on Twitter that these payments “could be illegal… on so many levels.”
“Is it repayment for $130k hush money that Cohen paid [to adult film star Stormy Daniels]?” he asked. “If so, campaign finance law issues. Equally troubling: Together with the Trump calls, it raises possibility of witness tampering. Risky biz!”
This is problematic–and could be illegal–on so many levels. Is it repayment for $130k hush money that Cohen paid? If so, campaign fin. law issues. Equally troubling: together with the Trump calls, it raises possibility of witness tampering. Risky biz! https://t.co/8lyXfIcan9
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) April 30, 2018
Stephen Spaulding, chief of strategy at the nonprofit watchdog group Common Cause, similarly tells ABC News that Trump’s campaign is on “shaky legal ground” in making payments to Cohen.