President Trump says hush money does not amount to campaign finance violation – USA TODAY
President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid money to women to be quiet about alleged affairs with Trump during his 2016 campaign.
WASHINGTONÂ â President Donald Trump, under federal investigation over hush money to an alleged ex-mistress, said Thursday it has nothing to do with campaign finance lawsÂ â and appeared to acknowledge payments he previously said he knew nothing about.
“It was not a campaign contribution, and there were no violations of the campaign finance laws by me. Fake News!” Trump tweeted.
Trump has denied having an affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels, and previously denied knowing about payments to her, referring questions about the matter toÂ Michael Cohen â the ex-personal attorney who now says Trump authorized the payoffs.
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Federal prosecutors apparently disagree. They have said in court filings that the payment to Daniels and another to former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal violated laws that limit contributions to candidates. They alleged that Cohen, who pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws, orchestrated the payments at Trump direction.
In congressional testimony last week,Â Cohen said Trump and his company reimbursed him for $130,000 paid to Daniels in order toÂ keep her quiet right before the 2016 presidential election.
Federal prosecutors are investigating whether the hush money amounted to an unreported and illegal campaign contribution, in that it was designed to influence the outcome of the election.
Cohen faces a three-year prison sentence after pleading guilty toÂ campaign finance violations, taxÂ evasion and lying to Congress, including allegations stemming from his involvement in the Daniels matter.
Trump didÂ not address Cohen in his brief tweet, but has accused his former lawyer of lying in an effort to somehow reduce his prison sentence.
His current lawyers, such as Rudy Giuliani, have said the payments to Daniels amounted to a personal expense, not a campaign contribution.