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Were Trump’s Alleged Hush Money Payoffs In-Kind Campaign Contributions?

Were Trump’s Alleged Hush Money Payoffs In-Kind Campaign Contributions?

This has what to do with Russia?

Yesterday, I blogged about a NYT report claiming the FBI searched Michael Cohen’s office (Trump’s longtime attorney) in search of information connected to Trump’s alleged relationship with porn star Stormy Daniel.

Today, we have a little more insight into what investigators may be targeting. According to new reports, investigators are digging into correspondence between Cohen and executives at American Media, Inc, the publisher of the National Enquirer.

Clearly, none of this is related to Russia, but as Professor Jacobson has noted repeatedly, Mueller is taking full advantage of his mandate to look under every pebble and stone for process crimes.

So why is the FBI digging into alleged hush money payments made by the Trump camp to people claiming to have had sexual relationships with Trump before he took office? Federal investigators seem to be suggesting the payments could be in-kind campaign contributions.

Monday, Mark Levin interviewed former FEC Chair, Professor Bradley Smith who explained why any hush money (as it’s being called) paid to these alleged paramours falls outside of the definition of ‘in-kind contributions.’

“When the FEC wrote the regulation that says what constitutes campaign expenditures and what constitutes personal use, it rejected specifically the idea that a campaign expenditure was anything related to a campaign, and instead says it has to be something that exists only because of the campaign and solely for that reason,” Smith explained.

In the backdrop, another story broke, alleging a doorman with knowledge of an illegitimate child fathered by Trump also received a handsome $30,000 payoff to keep quiet.

Anti-Trumpers are now attempting to connect the latest story to the in-kind campaign contribution angle.

Again, not one single bit of this has anything to do with Russia.


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ScottTheEngineer | April 12, 2018 at 5:22 pm

Did Stormy or the playboybunny pay taxes on that money? Is that what all this is about?

    As long as Cohen did not try to deduct the NDA payment as an expense, the IRS regulations would not require a 1099 to be filed. It should not be deemed a gift because there were strings attached, as she had to keep quiet. I’m not offering an opinion as to whether the payment violates FEC regulations, but according to Kemberlee’s post, it does not appear so.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to ScottTheEngineer. | April 13, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Why isn’t Stormy being prosecuted for extortion?

2nd Ammendment Mother | April 12, 2018 at 5:25 pm

IMHO, “any payoffs were too spare Melania from public embarrassment” is the strongest statement to make loudly and repeatedly.

libs / progs dreams are even insane !
Per Professor Bradley Smith that’s all this is, some kind of an idiotic dreamed up excuse foe an illegal, corrupt search and seizure !

regulus arcturus | April 12, 2018 at 5:43 pm

Word is Trump was in fact the target of the Cohen raid.

How does one start the movement to have Mueller disbarred and prosecuted?

By that definition, untold amounts of money funneled through the Hillary campaign’s law firm destined for Fusion GPS and its foreign citizen subcontractors would qualify. Clearly it does not, or else someone would have looked into that… …right?

    amwick in reply to JBourque. | April 12, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Did you bump your head? /s

    Milhouse in reply to JBourque. | April 13, 2018 at 4:01 am

    Um, how would that qualify? The money was coming from the campaign, and from the DNC, which is exactly where campaign expenditures are supposed to come from. So who could be construed as making an illegal contribution?

      Well if they’re legitimate campaign expenditures, aren’t they supposed to be reported?

        Amending: This would open a large can of worms and I lack exhaustive information, because I don’t think it’s been publicly reported in any detail. One avenue re: Cohen is the theory that he used campaign funds to pay Daniels and the Trump campaign didn’t report it and covered it up. The Hillary campaign paid “legal services” to its law firm that were used to purchase services from Fusion GPS including the gathering of foreign intelligence by foreign nationals intended to influence an American election, but no one has found any report to that effect to the FEC.

        The bottom line is kid gloves for one side, a mailed fist for the other. People are highly incurious as to whether the Hillary side followed all of the technicalities of the law. Maybe she did, but that seems far from clear. I wish we had clarity, but I don’t think it’s coming.

This is abuse of the legal system and the magistrate/judge who signed off on a search warrant of a lawyer’s files and client communications based on a novel interpretation of FEC administrative rules has no business sitting on the bench and should be removed or impeached.

The fastest way to clean up the swamp is to clean up the courts and start booting judges who fail to adhere to the constitution.

If payments from Trumps Attorney are in kind contributions, then what are the payments from a Taxpayer funded Congressional Slush Fund to silence sexual harassment accusations during election years called?

Bitterlyclinging | April 12, 2018 at 7:30 pm

Anything. To. Get. President. Donald. J. Trump.
Baracky Obammunist, waiting, watching, over in nearby Kalorama, in anticipation of his expected return to power.

It’s unfortunate for Trump the he didn’t quash an ongoing DEA investigation aiming to stop terrorist group hezb’allah’s multi-billion dollar U.S. cocaine-peddling operation; or, use the IRS to stifle and harass domestic political opposition; or, let his DOJ channel firearms into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, in a hare-brained and utterly idiotic scheme, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of innocents, including a U.S. Border Patrol agent; or, use a homemade, laughably-unsecured private server to transact official government business — engaging in any of this conduct would’ve guaranteed that the FBI wouldn’t give a damn about him.

At least, if standards of justice as applied to prominent Dumb-o-crats are in effect.

Phil Salvarado | April 13, 2018 at 9:42 am

I think Sundance from CTH nails it:

“The raid on @MichaelCohen212 ‘s home and office was gov. directed political opposition research. The FBI/DOJ officials who carried out the raid will leak the content to media to damage @POTUS & engineer narratives for election(s). That was the intent of the raid.”

This coup is far from over.


The Cohen raid has a purpose beyond what the media tell us, and it gives them an opportunity to spread more disinformation.