Quantcast
Connect with us

Here’s why the newly revealed Trump recording could implicate the president in criminal activity

Published

on

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) delivered an incisive reading Tuesday night on MSNBC of a newly released recording of President Donald Trump discussing a hush money payment ahead of the 2016 election that could potentially implicate the president in campaign finance crimes.

On the recording, Trump discusses with his lawyer Michael Cohen a plan to create a shell company to buy the rights of former Playboy model Karen McDougal to a story about an affair with Trump that she sold to a publisher.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s brought up in the context of things they need to make go away until the election,” Schiff explains of the possible payment. “So they talk about the divorce proceedings and the president says, ‘You only need to make that go away for four weeks.’ And Cohen says, ‘Don’t worry, it will go away for longer than that.’ So it’s an effort to basically prevent voters from getting this information.”

He continued: “Finally, I would say on the issue of an expenditure for the campaign: The whole purpose of setting up this company to make this payment is to conceal the payment. … If they were planning on reporting it as a campaign expenditure there would be no need to set up that company. So to me as a former prosecutor, I’d say you have evidence of knowledge, you have of an intent to violate the campaign laws, you have evidence that this was about concealing information for a campaign purpose. So that’s how I think that the prosecutors would look at this.”

As others have pointed out, however, it does not appear Trump ever made the payments discussed in this tape. Without such payments, it’s unlikely any campaign finance charges could be pursued.

But the recording may have relevance in another matter that really could implicate the president in a crime: the payment of Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels. Clifford really was paid off by Cohen to keep quiet about her story, and that payment was never reported as a campaign expenditure.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump’s defenders have argued, however, that such a payment wasn’t a campaign expense.

And yet as the recording reveals, and Schiff explains, it really does appear that Trump and Cohen were making an effort pay for women’s silences about Trump’s infidelities to further his electoral chances. So it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the Stormy Daniels payment was intentionally arranged to influence the campaign, and then concealed so that no one would know about it. And that really does suggest that Trump may have committed a crime.

Watch the clip of Schiff below:

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

CNN

‘He’s so bloody insecure’: Ex-presidential adviser warns Trump is increasing in his conspiracy theories

Published

on

On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former presidential adviser David Gergen slammed President Donald Trump for his latest conspiracy theory-laced tweet that Google rigged the 2016 presidential popular vote for Hillary Clinton  — and warned that the president is only getting more unhinged.

"He's so bloody insecure," said Gergen. "This has been an issue that has been with him since the elections, because he feels that people don't see him as a legitimate president unless he won the majority vote. And he wants to sort of convince people otherwise."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Right-wing pundit scorched for claiming zero Republicans challenged Obama’s legitimacy

Published

on

On Monday, right-wing commentator Ben Shapiro made a head-turning claim: That President Donald Trump deserves respect because no Republicans ever questioned President Barack Obama's legitimacy:

Confronted with the fact that Trump himself promulgated the "Birther" conspiracy theory that Obama wasn't born in the United States, Shapiro pled No True Scotsman, insisting that Trump didn't really count as a "Republican figure" back in the early 2010s when he was spreading Birther lies — and that Republican officeholders at the time didn't agree with the delegitimization of the president.

Trump was a fringe character for nearly the entirety of the Obama presidency; he wasn't a "Republican figure" until he ran. You can't name a single major elected Republican official during Obama's presidency who challenged the legitimacy of his presidency. https://t.co/jodrc7Pljf

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Man stabbed to death at California university — he was also targeted with ‘incendiary device’

Published

on

Police are searching for a murder suspect after a fatal stabbing on the first day of school at a California university.

"A retired Cal State Fullerton administrator was stabbed to death Monday morning on the first day of the university’s academic year, and authorities later found an explosive device nearby," the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

"Fullerton police responded to reports of an assault with a deadly weapon at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot near the College Park building. Police found the victim, a man in his late 50s, inside a silver Infiniti, bleeding from his head with multiple stab wounds to his body. Police found an 'incendiary device' near the vehicle that showed the suspect targeted the victim," the newspaper reported.

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