Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Why is Trump Campaign Paying Some of Michael Cohen’s Legal Fees?

The Trump Campaign has spent nearly $228,000 to Cover some of the Legal Expenses for President Trump’s Personal Attorney Michael Cohen, raising Questions about whether the Trump Campaign may have Violated Campaign Finance Laws.

Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show Three Payments made from the Trump Campaign to a firm representing Cohen. The “legal consulting” Payments were made to McDermott Will and Emery, a Law Firm where Cohen’s Attorney Stephen Ryan is a Partner, between October 2017 and January 2018.

Cohen has said that he did not have a Formal Role in the Trump Campaign, and it is Illegal to spend Campaign Funds for Personal Use, defined by the FEC as Payments for Expenses “that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s campaign or responsibilities as a federal officeholder.”

“They’re on shaky legal ground,” said Stephen Spaulding, Chief of Strategy at the Nonprofit Watchdog Group Common Cause. “It sounds like they are really pushing the envelope … If the campaign were to say they are campaign-related payments, then maybe it’s okay to use campaign funds. But he can’t have it both ways.”

Ryan has represented Cohen in Two Key Legal Matters:

— Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing Investigation into possible Collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russian Agents ahead of the 2016 Presidential Election.

- The so-called “hush” Agreement he arranged with a Porn Star who claimed to have had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.

Legal Experts said that if the Payments referenced in the FEC Filings are related to the Russia investigation, they likely wouldn't violate the Campaign Finance Law, as the Investigation is related to the 2016 Presidential Campaign. If the Payments are related to the Stormy Daniels matter, however, the Campaign could have a Problem.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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