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Here’s why the report that Michael Cohen received a $774,000 slush-fund windfall will interest investigators

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Late Friday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported that President Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen secured $774,000 worth of cash as the 2016 campaign progressed — funding that is likely tied to the hush money payment made to Stephanie Clifford. Cohen has said he paid Clifford, a porn star better known as Stormy Daniels, $130,000 just days before the election, which some argue raises serious questions about campaign finance laws.

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The Journal reports that Cohen obtained this credit “as he sought to fix problems for his boss,” first in December 2015 and then again in February 2016 — a point at which it was becoming clear that Trump was a serious contender for the presidency. If, as seems possible, Cohen planned to use this money to help Trump’s electoral chances through payments to people like Clifford, it could potentially be seen as an effort to skirt campaign spending and reporting regulations.

Gloria Borger, a chief political analyst for CNN, explained to Anderson Cooper that what she found most interesting about the reporting is “the money, that Cohen started receiving, was around February 2016… was when his fortunes and his poll numbers started to rise as a presidential candidate. We know that he won the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9, for example. He became, suddenly, a serious candidate out of all these 17 candidates, and nobody was dismissing him anymore.”

She continued: “I think you have to ask the question about why anybody would need access to the cash, and I think they’re going to be looking into, according to the Wall Street Journal, you know, bank fraud, about whether Cohen was misstating the reasons he needed it.”

Watch the clip below:

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2020 Election

Expert who saw trouble for Clinton in 2016 has bad news for Trump in 2020

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Dave Wasserman, a polling expert with the Cook Political Report, closely watches polling at the district level in the United States. And in 2016, he saw signs in the data that Donald Trump was performing better than many expected in areas like New York's 22nd District — where Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were tied in 2012. Those warnings turned out to be prescient when Trump eked out a narrow win in three key swing states while losing in the popular vote.

Now, though, Wasserman has said he sees little sign of hope for Trump's re-election, even as Democrats continue to fear that former Vice President Joe Biden's polling lead will evaporate in the coming days:

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2020 Election

Did Florida Republican Matt Gaetz just get an illegal donation from the Trump organization?

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The campaign to re-elect Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a reliable ally of President Donald Trump, appears to have received a deep discount on lodging at Trump International Hotel in Washington during the Republican National Convention in August, federal records show. Such a discount would violate federal election law barring corporations from contributing directly to campaigns, according to campaign finance experts.
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2020 Election

Republican ‘hero’ who helped stop terror attack faces questions over ‘affiliations’ to right-wing extremists

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An Oregon congressional candidate who drew worldwide acclaim for helping to stop a terror attack faces questions about his "affiliations" to extremists ahead of Election Day.

Former Oregon National Guardsman Alex Skarlatos, better known as the "Paris train hero" after he and four others subdued a gunman while traveling in Europe in 2015, is running in Oregon's 4th Congressional District. Democratic groups claim that his association with Timber Unity, a group linked to extremist groups such as the Proud Boys, QAnon and the Three Percenter movement, raises "serious questions about his affiliations."

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