On Thursday (May 6), the Federal Election Commission (FEC) closed a case against former US President Donald Trump for alleged violation of campaign finance law during the 2016 Presidential election. EFC is responsible for enforcing the campaign finance law in the United States.
As per reports, the case pertains to an alleged payment of $1,30,000 made during his 2016 campaign trail to former pornstar Stormy Daniels through his lawyer Michael Cohen. The payment was allegedly made to stop Daniels from speaking out about their supposed affair a decade ago. The inquiry against Donald Trump was dropped after an evenly split EFC, between Democrats and Republicans, voted 2-2.
The voting took place months after an internal report suggested that Trump ‘knowingly’ violated the campaign law. The Republicans in the Federal Election Commission noted, “To conclude that a payment, made 13 days before Election Day to hush up a suddenly newsworthy 10-year-old story, was not campaign-related, without so much as conducting an investigation, defies reality.” The decision was criticised by their Democrat counterparts.
Donald Trump thanks EFC for ending the ‘fake news’ chapter
In a statement, Donald Trump said, “The Federal Election Commission in Washington, D.C., has totally dropped the phony case against me concerning payments to women relative to the 2016 Presidential Election.” He added, “It was a case built on lies from Michael Cohen, a corrupt and convicted lawyer, a lawyer in fact who was so corrupt he was sentenced to three years in jail for lying to Congress and many other things having nothing to do with me.”
Donald Trump also thanked the EFC for ‘ending this chapter of Fake News’. “Between two sleazebag lawyers, Michael Avenatti (former lawyer of Stormy Daniels) and Michael Cohen, we were all able to witness law and justice in our Country at its lowest!” he concluded.
Trump’s former lawyer cries foul after EFC drops inquiry
A disgruntled Michael Cohen, however, faced a major setback after the EFC closed the inquiry against Donald Trump. He said, “Mr. Trump has acknowledged reimbursing the payment but denied the affair and any wrongdoing regarding campaign laws…Like me, Trump should have been found guilty. How the FEC committee could rule any other way is confounding.”
It must be mentioned that Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen was handed a 3-year-prison time for pleading guilty to lying to Congress and violating finance laws. At the same time, Aavenatti will also be sentenced on June 30 for stealing from clients and trying to extort money from Nike.
Controversy over Stormy Daniel and Donald Trump
Former pornstar Stephanie Clifford, known in the industry as Stormy Daniels, had claimed in 2016 that she had an affair with Donald trump in 2006, during which the duo shared a sexual relationship. The allegations sparked controversy ahead of the 2016 US Presidential elections. During her 60 minutes interview with CBS News on March 25, 2018, she claimed to have met Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe in 2006. She revealed how they had engaged in consensual sex that night.
Trump had later conceded of making a payment of $1,30,000 to Daniels but refuted reports of wrongdoing. In 2018, the former US President had rubbished reports of the affair and termed it ‘false and extortionist.’ On being asked whether it was hush money during the interview, she alleged, “Yes. The story was coming out again. I was concerned for my family and their safety.”