A good-government group filed complaints against President Donald Trump’s campaign, charging his lawyer’s payment of hush money to a porn star who allegedly had an affair with Trump broke election laws.
Common Cause lodged the complaints with the Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission Monday. The group says the reported $130,000 payment by Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen to adult film star Stormy Daniels constituted an in-kind contribution to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign — which the campaign failed to report as election law requires.
“The American people expect and deserve transparency when it comes to money spent to influence elections and those requirements are not optional no matter how embarrassing the reason behind the expense,” said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that the X-rated actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, got the money a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement to keep quiet about her sexual relationship with Trump, who was married to third wife Melania at the time.
Cohen has vehemently denied paying hush money to Clifford and says reports about the affair are “completely false.” He also circulated a letter denying an affair that he claims is signed by the actress.
In the FEC complaint, Common Cause charges the money should have been reported as an in-kind contribution to Trump’s campaign and as an expenditure to Clifford, because the purpose of the payment was to influence the presidential election.
They also say that if the money came from the Trump Organization — the president’s private company — then it was an illegal corporate contribution to a presidential campaign.
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