- Jan 25, 2013
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/and...ikely-to-be-indicted-by-manhattan-us-attorney"The major takeaway from the 40-page sentencing memorandum filed by federal prosecutors Friday for Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, is this: The president is very likely to be indicted on a charge of violating federal campaign finance laws."
Second, the violation to which Cohen pleaded guilty is not merely making illegal expenditures; it also includes making such expenditures “in cooperation, consultation, or concert, with or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate.” (Section 30116(a)(7)(A) of the election laws).
Again, this is why Cohen was pushed at his guilty plea proceeding to state that he acted “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump. It is an assertion the prosecutors emphasize in the sentencing memo. The thrust of their allegation is that Cohen and Trump are confederates in an illegal contribution that Cohen made only because Trump directed him to do so.
Interesting summary for those looking for balance.
He goes on to say what some here had been saying yesterday.
There is, furthermore, a significant legal question about whether the hush-money payments here qualify as “in-kind” campaign contributions. There is nothing illegal per se in making a non-disclosure agreement; they are quite common. The criminal law comes into play only if the non-disclosure payment is deemed a donation for purposes of influencing a political campaign.
Arguably, the payment is not a donation if it was made for an expense that was independent of the campaign – that is, money that would have had to be paid even if there were no campaign.
Cohen chose to plead guilty and forfeited the right to contest this point. That concession is not binding on Trump. If the president is charged, I expect he would vigorously argue that the payment was not a campaign contribution.