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Posts tagged ‘Campaign Finance’

Ann Coulter Letter: Hush Little Porn Star, Don’t Say a Word


Commentary by Ann Coulter | Posted: Feb 27, 2019 4:05 PM

Hush Little Porn Star, Don't Say a Word

If that’s the best he’s got, Trump should demand we hold the election this coming Tuesday.

Cohen was referring to Trump’s 2017 reimbursement of the $130,000 hush money he paid to porn star Stormy Daniels to stay quiet about her claim that she’d had sex with Trump, aka Cohen’s client — meaning much of Cohen’s testimony is barred by attorney-client privilege. But who cares about this sacred legal privilege? We’re trying to get Trump!

Neither the media nor Cohen seem to realize that Cohen wasn’t doing anything illegal when he paid the “hush money.” (Just because Trump thinks every Jewish lawyer is Roy Cohn doesn’t mean you have to, too, New York Times.)

Words like “hush money” and “porn star” make the payments sound unsavory — especially to The New York Times, known during the Clinton era as Defender of Inappropriate Presidential Sex — but there’s nothing criminal about paying money to suppress embarrassing information, even in the middle of a political campaign.

If it wasn’t illegal for Cohen to pay the hush money, it’s certainly not illegal for Trump to reimburse him for it. Cohen was, after all, Trump’s lawyer. He got reimbursed for a lot of things.

But we have to have days of hearings in hopes of establishing that Trump violated the campaign finance reporting requirements with these payments, in which case, OH MY GOSH, HE’D HAVE TO PAY A FINE.

I’d be more impressed if they got Trump on a jaywalking charge.

President Obama had to pay $375,000 in fines for actual campaign violations during his 2008 run, and I don’t think we needed 16 prosecutors, half of Congress and the entire media on the case.

The theory of Trump’s alleged campaign finance violation is that if you’re running for office, all normal life expenses suddenly become campaign-related. According to these neurotics, ANY money Trump or his companies spent during the campaign is a potential campaign finance expenditure.

Paying your gardeners is a campaign expense — because who would vote for a man who can’t even keep the hedges tidy at Mar-a-Lago? If Trump had gone to the hospital for an appendectomy — well, he got his appendix cut out because he feared that if he died of appendicitis, he wouldn’t get the nomination.

1) Trump, with his fine legal mind, knew he was violating the law; and

2) He authorized the payments only because he was running for office.

So prosecutors have a fantastic case, provided they can get Trump to admit on the stand, Oh no, I wasn’t worried that these allegations would hurt my brand at all. I didn’t care about what my grandkids or Melania would think. I had Cohen pay off a porn star for the sole purpose of misleading the public into voting for me on the basis of my character.

Such an argument would be absurd with anyone, but we’re talking about Donald Trump. He didn’t exactly hold himself out to the voting public as a moral paragon.

As voters were well aware, Trump’s been married three times, has appeared in Playboy videos, and was a fixture on the Howard Stern show for years, discussing breast sizes and ranking women’s looks. In the very first GOP debate, Fox News reminded viewers that Trump had called women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”

The reason the “Access Hollywood” tape failed so spectacularly was that Trump had never appealed to Americans based on his character.

To take a contrary example at random, off the top of my head: Sen. John Edwards’ presidential campaign was entirely premised on his boasting about how much he loved the poor and loved his cancer-stricken wife — and also loved his son, who died in a car accident and he’s never told anyone this story before …

About a year before Edwards was caught by a real newspaper, The National Enquirer, visiting his love child and mistress in the Beverly Hilton, Edwards droned on and on about the importance of marital fidelity to NBC’s Katie Couric. It was, he said, “fundamental to how you judge people and human character — whether you keep your word, whether you keep what is your ultimate word, which is that you love your spouse, and you’ll stay with them.”

In order to preserve this utterly false image, Edwards arranged for his campaign donors to fork over nearly a million dollars to keep his baby mama happy and quiet. These were donors — not Edwards’ personal lawyer — who ponied up because they wanted him in the White House, and the money was being spent to protect the candidate’s completely bogus public image.

But when federal prosecutors brought a case against Edwards for failing to report these rather more obvious campaign expenditures, the government was nearly laughed out of court. The media ridiculed the entire prosecution and the jury acquitted, presumably on the grounds that, however much Edwards didn’t want voters to know about the affair, he also didn’t want his wife to know.

Trump won the presidency not because he touted himself as a man of character, but because he said he was someone who could get things done. Like build the wall. If you’re going to impeach him, impeach him for that.

Libs Use Cohen to Push Guilt by Association, But Forget 5 Obama Pals Who Were 10x Worse


Reported By Lisa Payne-Naeger | August 22, 2018 at

2:37pm

It didn’t take long for liberal spin to conjure up the specter of guilt by association as the media  tried to build a case for impeachment of President Donald Trump due to the latest developments in the Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort cases.

On Tuesday Michael Cohen, the president’s former attorney, pleaded guilty to eight charges of felony fraud and campaign finance law violations. In doing so, he also implicated the president, who he claims directed him to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels as well as a former Playboy model to buy their silence for alleged sexual encounters.

That alone would have made liberals happy. But the anti-Trump crowd was also crowing that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted on the same day of eight charges of tax and bank fraud brought by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

A lot of nonsense takes place on social media, but sometimes bits of wisdom shine through. These particular comments put the spotlight on liberal hypocrisy that has no problem with smearing Trump with guilt by association, but was mysteriously blind when it came to former President Barack Obama.

Liberal memories are short when it comes to liberal sins, but author and conservative Twitter user Thomas Wictor reminds us all that guilt by association was — or should have been — a much bigger issue in the Obama administration.

He listed at least five egregious instances where guilt by association could be argued in relation to Barack Obama, and he starts with Obama associate Tony Rezko.

“(3) Obama fundraiser and member of his U.S. Senate campaign finance committee Tony Rezko. Sentenced to over ten years for public and private corruption. Served four.”
“(4) Obama fundraiser Courtney Dupree. Convicted of bank fraud.”
“(5) Obama bundler Willie Shepherd. Pleaded guilty to third-degree assault on his wife in exchange for dropping negligent child-abuse charges.”
“(6) Rod Blagojevich, Illinois governor. Doing 14 years in the federal pen for trying to sell Obama’s vacated seat.”

And he caps it off with this closing tweet.

To be fair, longtime Barack Obama buddy Bill Ayers was never implicated in murder during his spree as a bomber for the domestic terrorist group the Weather Underground.

It’s also worth pointing out that Ayers’ girlfriend at the time, Diana Oughton, died in 1970 when a nail bomb she was helping to build exploded in a house in Grennwich Village. A Vanity Fair article from 2015 claims Ayers and his Weather Underground terrorists never intended to hurt people, but it’s safe to wonder if they were worried about who would be on the receiving end of those nails flying through the air with deadly, explosive force.

The Daily Caller points out some clarifying factors on the the guilt-by-association accusations against Trump.

In the Manafort case, even though Manafort spent a short time with the Trump campaign to work specifically on the Republican National Convention, the media will fail to mention he was “fired over questions of his work as a lobbyist for foreign governments years earlier,” and all charges were related to actions of Manafort long before he ever joined Trump’s presidential run.

As The Daily Caller put it: “It’s guilt by association coupled with omission of relevant facts to paint the president as somehow associated with a guilty person’s actions.”

As far as Cohen is concerned, and as conservative radio host Mark Levin has pointed out, the charges of payoffs to two women for alleged sexual encounters are still not proven to be illegal. It is not not illegal for to pay for non-disclosure agreements in politics or any other sphere of the law.

Liberals have once again cast stones from their own glass houses. They should really think twice before they invent false scenarios.

Some sharp-minded Twitter members might just throw a litany of facts on their feed that blow their latest spin out of the water.

Summary

An enthusiastic grassroots Tea Party activist, Lisa Payne-Naeger has spent the better part of the last decade lobbying for educational and family issues in her state legislature, and as a keyboard warrior hoping to help along the revolution that empowers the people to retake control of their, out-of-control, government.

Media Celebrate Trump Mishandling $280k. Forget Obama Mishandled $88 Million.


Reported By Kara Pendleton | August 22, 2018 at

12:44pm

Another day, another “we’ve got him now. No, really, we’ve really, truly, madly, deeply got him, now!” series of headlines from the establishment media about President Donald Trump.

This time the focus is on campaign finance.

And once again, voters are left to their own devices to figure out what the truth really is and if there actually is a crime involved. Add to that the way the establishment media addressed the topic when President Barack Obama was involved in similar “scandals,” and you have more evidence as to why the establishment media outlets are so often called “fake news.”

The latest “Get Trump” establishment media feeding frenzy stems from a plea deal made by Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen. On Tuesday, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges against him, including two alleged campaign finance violations. One involved a payment of $130,000 in 2016 from then-candidate Trump to porn star Stormy Daniels. The other involved coordinating a $150,000 payment by the National Enquirer’s publisher to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A great breakdown of the situation comes from radio and television personality Mark Levin, who is also a lawyer and worked in the Justice Department during the Reagan administration.

Appearing on “Hannity,” Levin offered his “help to the “the law professors, the constitutional experts, the criminal defense lawyers, the former prosecutors, and of course the professors” in regards to “what the law is” surrounding the campaign finance issue and Michael Cohen plea deal.

“The general counsel for the Clinton Mob Family, Lanny Davis, he had his client plead to two counts of criminality that don’t exist. These campaign finance violations that they are saying all over TV implicates the president directly.”

“First, let’s back up. It’s a guilty plea. It is a plea bargain between a prosecutor and a criminal. A criminal who doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life in prison. That is not precedent. That applies only to that specific case,” Levin said.

“Nobody cites plea bargains for precedent. That’s number one.

“Number two: Just because a prosecutor says that somebody violated a campaign law, doesn’t make it so. He’s not the judge, he’s not the jury. We didn’t adjudicate anything–it never went to court. That’s number two.

“A campaign expenditure, under our federal campaign laws, is an expenditure solely for campaign activity. A candidate who spends his own money, or even corporate money, for an event that occurred not as a result of the campaign, it is not a campaign expenditure.”

Levin then gave some examples, one being a candidate for office having disputes with a vendor and not wanting the negative publicity. In this scenario, the hypothetical candidate instructs his private attorney to just pay the vendors and he (the candidate) will reimburse the attorney.”

Levin adds that this is “perfectly legal” and a “point” made that such an act would “influence an election” was “stupid.”

Earlier this year, Newsweek tackled the “the question of whether longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s $130,000 hush money payment to adult actress Stormy Daniels was an illegal campaign contribution.”  Ex-Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley Smith told Newsweek in March that, “It looks like Trump has made these kinds of payments to people before unrelated to his campaign or as a candidate. It’s hard to show this payment was made solely because he was running for election.”

By way of comparison as to how the media handled a “campaign finance scandal” when it came to Trump’s predecessor, let’s first ask if anyone was aware there even was one.

In one of the few mainstream media reports about it, a U.S. News & World Report headline from 2013 announced, “Obama Campaign Fined Big for Hiding Donors, Keeping Illegal Donations.”

The article went on to note that,The FEC levied one of its largest fines ever against Obama’s campaign committee, new documents show.” The Federal Election Commission fined his campaign $375,000 for “a failure to disclose or improperly disclosing thousands of contributions to Obama for America during the then-senator’s 2008 presidential run.”

More specifically, citing the FEC, the article stated that “the Obama campaign failed to disclose the sources of 1,300 large donations, which together accounted for nearly $1.9 million. Election Commission rules state campaigns must report donations of $1,000 or more within 20 days of Election Day.”

“Obama for America was also fined for ‘untimely resolution of excessive contributions,’ according to the conciliation agreement, FEC says,” the report continues. “The campaign accepted more than $1.3 million in contributions that came from donors who had already given $46,000 — the maximum allowed by FEC rules. The campaign eventually refunded the excess cash but did not do so within the 60-day window allotted for resolving such cases.

“In addition to failing to report big donors and excess donations in a timely manner, the Obama campaign incorrectly dated the filings dealing with $85 million in funds, the FEC claims. This error appears to have been primarily the result of one transfer to the campaign committee from the Obama Victory Fund, a fundraising group that includes money raised by the Democratic National Committee that is earmarked for the presidential race.”

Do you remember the media having a field-day with the news and screaming for Obama to be impeached?

Was anyone sent to jail over actual mishandling of actual campaign funds? (No Russians were implicated in the commission of those violations of federal election law, either.)

The sharp contrast between the two situations is undeniable.

To anyone with eyes to read, there is a distinct appearance of the establishment media using extreme measures to smear a sitting president and build public pressure for impeachment. Neither of which is the duty of a free press or an honorable Fourth Estate.

FEC Complaint: Clinton Campaign, DNC Violated Campaign Finance Law With Dossier Payments


Reported By Jack Davis | October 25, 2017 at 5:01pm

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournalism.com/fec-complaint-clinton-campaign-dnc-violated-campaign-finance-law-dossier-payments/?

Former Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee broke the law in the way they handled their effort to dig up dirt on President Donald Trump, according to a complaint filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that the Clinton campaign and the DNC funded development of a now-discredited dossier that claimed to document misbehavior by Trump while in Russia and also claimed Trump had close connections with Russian officials.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained the firm Fusion GPS to conduct the research into Trump. Fusion GPS then hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, to do the work.

Perkins Coie, the firm for which Elias works, was paid $12.4 million to represent the Clinton campaign and the DNC during the 2016 campaign.

The complaint from the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center said that by paying the firm of Perkins Coie to fund development of the dossier while not saying that’s what it was doing, the campaign and DNC broke the law.

The Clinton and campaign and the DNC “failed to accurately disclose the purpose and recipient of payments for the dossier of research alleging connections between then-candidate Donald Trump and Russia, effectively hiding these payments from public scrutiny, contrary to the requirements of federal law,” the Center said on its website.

According to FEC reports, Clinton’s campaign reported 37 payments to the law firm and reported each disbursement as “Legal Services.”

The DNC reported 345 payments to Perkins Coie during the election cycle and marked the payments as “legal and compliance consulting,” “administrative fees,” “data services subscription” and others.

“The purpose of at least some portion of the payments to Perkins Coie was not for legal services; instead, those payments were intended to fund opposition research,” the complaint said. “This false reporting clearly failed the Commission’s requirements for disclosing the purpose of a disbursement.”

The CLC said the campaign and DNC tried to end run the rules.

“By filing misleading reports, the DNC and Clinton campaign undermined the vital public information role of campaign disclosures,” said Adav Noti, senior director of trial litigation and strategy at CLC. “Voters need campaign disclosure laws to be enforced so they can hold candidates accountable for how they raise and spend money.

“The FEC must investigate this apparent violation and take appropriate action,” Noti added.

“Questions about who paid for this dossier are the subject of intense public interest, and this is precisely the information that FEC reports are supposed to provide,” said Brendan Fischer, director of federal and FEC reform at CLC.

“Payments by a campaign or party committee to an opposition research firm are legal, as long as those payments are accurately disclosed,” he said. “But describing payments for opposition research as ‘legal services’ is entirely misleading and subverts the reporting requirements.”

Writing on LawNewz, Rachel Stockman said there is a fine line separating legal fro illegal activities.

“It is legal under current campaign finance law for the Hillary Clinton campaign to commission an opposition research company to dig up dirt on Donald Trump,” she wrote. “What is not legal, according to campaign legal experts, is for the campaign to pay a law firm who then hires other to perform campaign related activities without reporting the purpose of the expenditures.”

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