When we clear away smoke from failed fires the anti-Trump crowd are trying to set over his hush-money payments through Cohen, it’s possible real wrong-doers are nervous.
Why? Because, despite all the faux hysteria, campaign finance law does not cover any expenditures that may have multiple factor expediencies, but restrict to only those items that would only incur expenditure because of, and unique to an election campaign.
As explained in a Byron York op-ed today “Not everything that is subjectively intended to influence an election is a campaign expenditure. For example, if Trump (or any other businessman running for office) settled lawsuits against the business in order to get them off the table, so that they wouldn’t become campaign issues, those settlements would not be campaign expenses, but would remain personal expenses, payable by Trump or the company sued. That is true even if the suits were deemed totally meritless by Trump’s lawyers and paid solely as nuisance settlements to prevent bad campaign press. The standard “for the purpose of influencing a campaign” must be read in pari materia with the prohibition in the statute on personal use of campaign funds. That section and its regulations define things that are not campaign expenditures, and personal use includes any obligations that would exist irrespective of the campaign.”
(underline emphasis added)
Citizen Trump’s personal business existed ‘irrespective of the campaign’ and for various reasons, would’ve been justifiably dealt with had there been no campaign.
BUT…consider the payments the Democrats (Hillary’s campaign team and the DNC) paid to 1) a lawyer cutout firm who hired FusionGPS (then by extension, Steele) and 2) the FBI paid to Steele, for the opposition research document (Steele ‘dossier’)…
…being used against then-candidate, and now President, Donald Trump.
We’re certain those millions in payments by the Democrats, and tens of thousands paid by the FBI – specific/unique to an election – WEREN’T reported as required by law.
President Trump may not be in legal jeopardy…
…but FBI heavyweights and Democrats could well be.
Once more, Mueller’s overreach may end up torpedoing people they’re trying to hide.
(CORRECTED to show FBI paid Steele directly)