Storm is over for Trump! Federal Election Commission DROPS inquiry to determine whether he violated campaign finance laws when his lawyer Michael Cohen paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 ‘hush-money’ in the days leading up to the 2016 election
- Cohen claims that he was ordered to make the payment to the porn star to prevent her from disclosing an affair two weeks before the 2016 election
- Cohen was jailed for 3 years after pleading guilty to breaking campaign laws
- On Thursday, FEC voted 2-2 on whether to proceed with inquiry into scandal
- Lack of majority means that the case was dropped and the inquiry is finished
The Federal Election Commission has dropped its inquiry into whether Donald Trump violated campaign finance laws over hush money payments worth $130,000 to Stormy Daniels.
Trump’s disgraced attorney Michael Cohen claims that he was ordered to make the payment to the porn star to prevent her from disclosing an affair two weeks before the 2016 election.
Cohen was jailed for three years after pleading guilty to making the payment to secure a non-disclosure agreement from Daniels, among other charges.
On Thursday, four of the six bipartisan commissioners were split in their votes, meaning that, without a majority backing the inquiry, the case was dropped.
Donald Trump has denied the affair with Daniels which the porn star claims was carried out in 2006 after his marriage to Melania
Cohen was jailed for three years after pleading guilty to making the payment to secure a non-disclosure agreement from Daniels, among other charges
Democrats Shana Broussard, the current chairwoman, and Ellen Weintraub, argued that the case should have proceeded as there were grounds to believe that campaign finance laws had been breached.
‘To conclude that a payment, made 13 days before Election Day to hush up a suddenly newsworthy 10-year-old story, was not campaign-related, without so much as conducting an investigation, defies reality,’ they wrote.
Porn star Stormy Daniels attends the 2019 Adult Video News Awards at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 26, 2019 in Las Vegas
‘Several of our colleagues instead voted to dismiss the allegations,’ the join statement continued. ‘The Commission therefore did not have enough votes to pursue well-grounded charges that the former President of the United States knowingly and willfully accepted contributions nearly 5,000% over the legal limit to suppress a negative story mere days before Election Day.’
Republicans James ‘Trey’ Trainor and Sean Cooksey voted no, arguing that Cohen had been dealt with and there was nothing for the SEC to pursue.
‘In sum, the public record is complete with respect to the conduct at issue in these complaints, and Mr. Cohen has been punished by the government of the United States for the conduct at issue in these matters,’ Trainor and Cooksey said in a statement.
‘Thus, we concluded that pursuing these matters further was not the best use of agency resources,’ they continued. ‘The Commission regularly dismisses matters where other government agencies have already adequately enforced and vindicated the Commission’s interests.’
Republican Allen Dickerson recused himself from the case, while independent Steven Walther did not vote.
Daniels, 42, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims that she had an affair with Trump in 2006 after he married Melania and she gave birth to their son, Barron.
Trump denies the affair.
Cohen has admitted making the $130,000 payment and was sentenced to three years in federal prison for lying to Congress, tax evasion and charges relating to payments to Daniels and other women.
‘It was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light,’ Cohen said of Trump in court in 2018.
On his podcast ‘Mea Culpa’ in February, Cohen said sorry to Daniels for the ‘needless pain’ that was caused by the scandal.