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Cohen Accidentally Cleared Trump of Campaign Finance Charges

In his testimony to the House, former attorney to President Trump Michael Cohen probably inadvertently cleared Trump of one of the “criminal” allegations against him with respect to his payoff of Stormy Daniels:

The idea is that Trump violated campaign finance laws because the payment was illegal because was effectively an unreported campaign donation.

But Cohen made quite clear that the donation was at least arguably done not to advance Trump’s campaign by keeping the affair quiet, but to keep the affair from the first lady.

As writer Marc Thiessen notes:

Well, if Trump didn’t care about winning, that undermines the case that the payments were a campaign finance violation. Indeed, Cohen offered evidence that Trump’s motivation was in fact keeping his affair from his wife. “He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair, and to lie to his wife about it,” Cohen said. “Lying to the first lady is one of my biggest regrets. . . . She did not deserve that.” Paying hush money because he did not want his wife to find out he was having an affair with a porn star is sleazy, but it is not a crime.

Thiessen adds:

Cohen also cleared Trump of the charge that he had directed Cohen to lie to Congress about the Moscow Trump Tower project. Cohen declared that “I lied to Congress” and Trump “did not directly tell me to lie.” Cohen said he assumed Trump wanted him to lie, so he did what he thought Trump wanted. Sorry, that’s not evidence of a crime.

Cohen’s testimony gave Democrats lots of excuses to set out to sea for new fishing expeditions, now that the whole Russia collusion thing is falling apart. But Cohen did not do much direct damage Trump at all.

10 thoughts on “Cohen Accidentally Cleared Trump of Campaign Finance Charges”

  1. What MrTrump and the woman did or didn’t do in that hotel room wasn’t illegal. She threatened to tell everyone what she thinks happened there, but would remain silent if some money came her way.
    That’s called “blackmail”.
    Paying a blackmailer isn’t a crime, no matter where the money came from. The crime is stealing the money, or claiming it was a business deduction for tax purposes.
    Some campaigns pay money for “information” (Clinton), some pay for “non-information”.

  2. I thought it was OK when Bill Clinton did this stuff. After all, “it was just sex.” “Every President does it”, etc.

    Of course the Russians “rigged” the election. When Trump said the election was rigged for Hillary he was pilloried.

  3. Remember Larry Sinclair? The guy that said he was Obama’s gay lover?

    “Larry Sinclair’s allegations involving Barack Obama, cocaine, and a limo — set in 1999, when Obama was a state senator — failed to gain broad coverage for a variety of reasons, including lack of corroboration and Sinclair’s record of crimes involving deceit.”

    Michael Cohen as a “record of crimes involving deceit.” And he’s telling the truth now?

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