Quantcast
Connect with us

This is the real reason Giuliani and Trump are finally admitting to paying off Stormy Daniels

Published

on

- Commentary

The professional election law world is aghast that President Trump’s latest attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told Fox News that Trump reimbursed his legal fixer, Michael Cohen, for the $130,000 payment that Cohen made to silence Stormy Daniels about their alleged affair just before the 2016 election.

Giuliani’s admission, which was confirmed by Trump in a tweet, has prompted media outlets like the New York Times to report that Trump was caught in another lie, and that the president and Cohen could be fined by the Federal Election Commission for breaking laws intended to inform voters about their candidates for high office.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Trump’s admission that he later repaid Cohen for the hush money destroys any argument Cohen could have made that the payment was out of his own money as an independent expenditure,” Trevor Potter, president of the Washington-based Campaign Legal Center, a former Republican FEC member and Stephen Colbert’s favorite go-to guy for explaining election laws, said Thursday.

“This is a reminder of why disclosure and reporting laws are on the books in the first place: if these transactions were properly reported by the Trump campaign in October 2016, it would have triggered public attention to the issue, and would have given voters relevant information that could be factored into their decision-making,” Potter continued. “It is important for the FEC to take this matter seriously and open an investigation.”

But urging the FEC to act is akin to using a water pistol to put out a forest fire. The body has been hobbled by partisan gridlock, unfilled appointments and has had little impact of the rough and tumble of campaigns in recent years. You can bet that Giuliani knows this and what is really going on is a deliberate attempt to divert attention from the escalating Mueller probe of the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia to the yawn-inducing world of campaign finance oversight.

Potter, of course, is completely correct that campaign finance laws are intended to help the public understand who they are voting for and to prevent political corruption. He said on Thursday that Trump, via Giuliani, has now put himself squarely in the sights of federal campaign regulators who will likely end up fining him.

ADVERTISEMENT

“With this latest explanation, President Trump finds himself between something of a rock and a hard place,” Potter explained. “If this payment was a $460,000 loan from Michael Cohen, as Rudy Giuliani claimed, Trump was required to disclose it in the financial disclosure report that he filed in June 2017 with the Office of Government Ethics. The law required him to disclose any loan that was greater than $10,000 at any time during 2016 or the first half of 2017. He didn’t disclose it and, if the omission was intentional, he could be subject to civil or criminal penalties.”

So why are Giuliani and Trump positioning themselves for a FEC investigation and fine? Apart from diverting the news away from the Mueller investigation, Trump can tweet a big ‘so what,’ because, as it turns out, other campaigns—including Barrack Obama’s 2008 effort—violated FEC rules and faced big six-figure fines.

ADVERTISEMENT

“President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign has been fined $375,000 by the Federal Election Commission, one of the largest fines levied against a presidential campaign,” USA Todayreported in January 2013. “The fines are related to missing reports for nearly 1,300 last-minute donations, totaling nearly $1.9 million. In the 20-day period before an election, candidates are required to file notices within 48 hours of receiving contributions of $1,000 or more.”

It’s not exactly news that the president is a serial liar, serial adulter and is willing to pay to settle legal disputes. Regarding Giuliani’s admission about reimbursing his fixer Cohen and Trump’s tweet affirming it, take note of why it’s a shrewd move for president’s legal team.

Not only can Trump say that Obama did something bad, muddying the waters he’s in by raising false equivalencies. But as important, it took the FEC more than four years to fine Obama—issuing that historic fine after the next presidential election was over. (In case anyone needs reminding, Obama was re-elected in 2012.)

ADVERTISEMENT

 

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 legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, 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 billionaires and 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. Click to donate by check.

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.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘They love the meanest parts of him’: Conservative writer explains why evangelical Christians stick with Trump

Published

on

Ben Howe, a conservative writer and evangelical Christian who refuses to support Donald Trump, explained why fellow evangelicals continue to back the president despite his decidedly ungodly behavior.

Speaking with the Atlantic’s Emma Green about his new book The Immoral Majority, Howe — whose evangelical bona fides include attending pastor Jerry Falwell’s church as a kid — described evangelicals’ support for Trump, insisting “they love the meanest parts of him.”

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Mental midget’ Stephen Miller absolutely demolished in MSNBC blast at Trump’s ‘misfit’ advisers

Published

on

Given the opportunity to discuss two profiles on White House adviser Stephen Miller -- published by the Washington Post and the New York Times late Saturday -- Democratic consultant Don Calloway jumped in with both feet to trash the man he called a "mental midget"."

Asked p on MSNBC about the controversial Miller's outsized influence on Donald Trump, Calloway didn't hold back.

"What goes through your head when you hear how much influence Stephen Miller has on immigration policy?" host Alex Witt asked.

"Stephen Miller is a mental midget, that's the best thing I can say," Calloway began to the sounds of laughter offscreen.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Black woman reveals how Trump is ruining her marriage: ‘My white Republican husband is starting to hate me’

Published

on

A black woman revealed over the weekend how President Donald Trump and right-wing media are straining her marriage.

In a Twitter rant on Saturday, a woman going by the name Glass Butterfly hit a nerve by starting a discussion about the challenges of interracial marriage in the age of Trump.

"My white Republican husband is starting to hate me because the longer we live through this administration the 'BLACKER' I become," she revealed. "Any interracially and opposing politically affiliated couples going through this? Like...I have NO idea how to balance who we are..or are becoming."

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image