You might not remember it now, but there are around 836,973 scandals, two women were paid six figures each to keep quiet about alleged affairs they allegedly had with Donald Trump, so as not to harm her chances of winning the 2016 election. In the case of Stéphanie Clifford, alias Stormy Daniels, former Trump fixer Michael cohen admitted in 2018 to pay the porn star $ 130,000 shortly before the election. (Asset admitted to this in a series of tweets from 2018, while denying ever having slept with Daniels.) Karen McDougal, National Enquirer parent company American Media Inc. and its former boss David pecker paid the EX-Playboy mannequin $ 150,000 for the rights to her story with the intention of burying her. (Trump has also denied the deal with McDougal; AMI admitted at the Justice Department, he made the payment to help Trump’s election chances.) And as he has done for most of his life, Trump has continued to shirk responsibility for his actions!
CNBC reports that the Federal Election Committee will let Trump “avoid sanctions for directing secret money payments” to McDougal, despite AMI agreeing to pay more than $ 187,500 for his role in the scandal. The monetary penalty came in response to an FEC finding that AMI and Pecker knowingly and intentionally violated the campaign finance law by making “prohibited corporate in-kind contributions” to Trump’s campaign with the benefit of the former Playboy model. Without actually naming Trump, federal prosecutors said the ex-president asked Cohen to facilitate payments to the two women. In a statement, the Common Cause advocacy group, which had filed complaints with the FEC, said: “Trump has organized all of this, and so far he has worked. Everyone who did their dirty work here, Cohen and AMI, paid fines and served time. It is good news that the Federal Election Commission is holding tabloid AMI responsible for its illegal actions in the 2016 election. But it is mind boggling that the mastermind of this criminal enterprise, Donald Trump, has yet to be held responsible. “
In a letter at Common Cause, the acting FEC general counsel wrote that the commission had “found reason to believe that the respondents David J. Pecker and American Media, Inc. knowingly and willfully violated 52 USC § 30118 (a) “. But he added that “there was an insufficient number of votes to find reason to believe that the remaining respondents violated the federal election campaign law of 1971”. (According to Paul Ryan, Common Cause Vice President of Policy and Litigation, other respondents were Trump and his election committee.) Ryan told CNBC he suspected two Republican FEC commissioners who recently vote against Trump’s sanction for payment to Stormy Daniels also voted against punishing the 45th President for payments to McDougal.
In the case of the decision not to punish Trump for Daniels gain, the FEC chairman Shana broussard and commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub wrote in a statement last month, “Finding that a payment, made 13 days before election day to cover up a suddenly newsworthy 10-year story, was unrelated to the campaign, without even investigating, defies reality. But that aside, Cohen testified under oath that he made the payment for the primary purpose of influencing the election. This more than meets the Commission’s “reasons to believe” standard to authorize an investigation. In response, the two GOP commissioners, Sean cooksey and Trey Trainor, claimed they voted to dismiss the case because it was a “limitation in jeopardy” and pursuing it further would be an unnecessary use of agency resources. They also argued that an FEC case would be redundant given other payment investigations, including the DOJ investigation that led to Cohen’s lawsuit.
And speaking of federal investigations: last week the To post reported that a grand jury was summoned by the Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to hear evidence against Trump and the Trump Organization, and potentially announce indictments. Among the issues that the prosecutor’s office has been search in? Payments to Daniels and McDougal.
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