OnPolitics Today: The Michael Cohen wiretap that apparently was not
- Author: Leroy Wright May 05, 2018,
May 05, 2018, 16:03
White House aides were blindsided when Trump's recently added attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said Wednesday that the president had repaid Michael Cohen for $130,000 that was given to Daniels to keep her quiet before the 2016 election about her allegations of a sexual encounter with Trump.
Legal experts argue that Trump's reimbursement of Cohen constitutes a clear violation of campaign finance law. Even worse, Giuliani said that Trump paid the hush money back over a number of months, "funneling" it through a law firm.
Campaign finance watchdog groups have filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission and Justice Department alleging that the then-secret payment amounted to an illegal campaign expenditure. That payment was arranged by Mr. Trump's self-described fixer Michael Cohen. 'I don't burden them with every single thing that comes along.
Giuliani stated Cohen advised the president that he had incurred the bills on Trump's behalf they usually required compensation.
Comey, who was sacked by Trump as Federal Bureau of Investigation director in Could 2017, has admitted giving memos about his conversations with President Trump to no less than three folks - together with members of his authorized group.
Asked by reporters on Air Force One earlier this month about the deal, Trump said: "You'll have to ask Michael Cohen".
A combination photo shows Adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels speaking in New York City, and U.S. President Donald Trump speaking in Washington, Michigan, U.S. on April 16, 2018 and April 28, 2018 respectively.
Daniels offered her account of her relationship with Trump in an interview on the CBS News program "60 Minutes" broadcast in March. Mr. Trump denies the affair.
She says Cobb informed White House chief of staff John Kelly last week that he would retire at the end of May.
Watchdog groups argue that if Cohen's payment was, in fact, for the goal of influencing the 2016 campaign, that could open up Trump to a possible felony for "knowingly and willfully" causing his campaign to file an incomplete or false report.
It appears that text messages were also intercepted by investigators.
In fact, it is so hard to believe that Giuliani couldn't even pretend to believe it for longer than two minutes: Shortly after explaining that the payment had nothing to do with politics, Giuliani confirmed that it totally did. "I don't have anything else to say". "Now, Giuliani is trying to get the stories in sync, but this still leaves several potential violations", Noble said.
So, on Friday morning, Giuliani returned to Fox News to clean up his mess.
The President has been fighting on two fronts: his connection to Cohen related to Daniels' hush payment and his intention in firing Comey. Giuliani later suggested to The Wall Street Journal that while Trump had repaid the $130,000, Cohen had settled the payment to Daniels without Trump's knowledge at the time.
Throughout the interview, Giuliani insisted there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, an allegation that jumpstarted a Department of Justice investigation in 2016.
"Of course he didn't talk to the presidential candidate then, because the man wouldn't have remembered", Giuliani said.
A spokesperson for NBC News directed reporters to Winter's on-air correction and the online editor's note.