Watchdog Filed A Pair Of Complaints Over Trump’s $130,000 Payment To Porn Star
The hush money payment represented an “unreported in-kind contribution to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.”

Watchdog group Common Cause has filed a pair of complaints on Monday alleging that a reported hush payment for a porn star to stay quiet about an alleged affair with Donald Trump in 2006, before he was elected President, violated campaign finance laws.

Common Cause said the alleged payment to the adult-film star Stephanie Clifford, who uses the stage name Stormy Daniels, amounted to an in-kind donation to Trump’s presidential campaign that should have been publicly disclosed in its official reports. The group called on the Justice Department and Federal Election Commission to investigate the $130,000 payment to Daniels in October 2016 by Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

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Since the payment reportedly was made about a month before voters headed to the polls, it could be seen as a campaign “expenditure” that affected the election’s outcome in Trump’s favor, according to the complaint.

Stormy Daniels had previously divulged details about the affair to in Touch Weekly in 2011, but Cohen had threatened to sue the magazine. In the interview that was finally published last week, the porn star spilled a number of intimate details about her initial relationship with Trump, while the first lady Melania had given birth to their son Barron just four months before.

The vice president of policy and litigation for Common Cause, Paul S. Ryan argued in his letter to Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that the payout represented a contribution to Trump’s campaign because “the funds were paid for the purpose of influencing the 2016 presidential general election.”

Mr Ryan said these actions are the latest examples of the president, his family, his campaign, and subsequently administration, playing fast and loose with the laws that apply to them. He added: “If these laws are not fully enforced, they will be ignored by candidates and administrations going forward to the detriment of our democracy.”

Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause, also said in a statement on Monday: “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,”

“Candidates and their attorneys cannot choose how and when to comply with federal campaign finance laws. We strongly urge the Justice Department and the FEC to fully investigate these apparent illegal activities and, if appropriate, to take action to hold the President and his campaign accountable.” he added.

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