Originally posted on June 5, 2020
The laws surrounding political campaign financing can be surprisingly strict at times. While running for office any money under the control of the candidate (including anyone who works for the candidate) that influences the campaign must be reported. All the PAC money gets around this general rule because they don’t coordinate their efforts with the campaign itself.
So, when Michael Cohen, who works for Trump, arranged to pay hush money to two of Trump’s dalliances (Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal) those became part of Trump’s campaign expenses in 2016.
As the brief from the New York prosecutors stated:
While many Americans who desired a particular outcome to the election knocked on doors, toiled at phone banks, or found any number of other legal ways to make their voices heard, Cohen sought to influence the election from the shadows. He did so by orchestrating secret and illegal payments to silence two women who otherwise would have made public their alleged extramarital affairs with Individual-1. In the process, Cohen deceived the voting public by hiding alleged facts that he believed would have had a substantial effect on the election.
The fact that Individual-1 “orchestrated” these payments was also a violation of the law. Cohen is now in jail due to this and other lawbreaking activities on the behalf of Trump. Trump, of course, claims he is untouchable as long as he is President. If he weren’t, he may well be in jail as well.