FEC Commissioner James E. Trainor has stated that the Manhattan district attorney’s indictment of President Trump does not fit the mold for campaign finance violations, per the Washington Examiner.
In a special report from Washington Secrets, Trainor explained that the 34 felony charges against Trump were not campaign finance violations. “It’s not a reporting violation of any kind,” he said.
He further said that the FEC and the DOJ had already considered the case, which centers on “hush money” payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels through ex-lawyer Michael Cohen. Both the FEC and the DOJ decided against taking on the case in the past.
Additionally, former FEC official Bradley Smith told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that the “subjective intent” of someone spending or donating money does not factor into the determination of whether something is a campaign expense or not.
For reference, the allegation has often been made that Trump directed Michael Cohen to pay Stormy Daniels “hush money” to the tune of $130,000. However, Smith argued that it was very difficult for anyone to make the assertion that Cohen’s payment to Daniels was done with an objective intent to allegedly influence the 2016 presidential election.
Via Breitbart, Smith explained it like this: “[T]hat key phrase is for the purpose of influencing an election. But that doesn’t mean the subjective intent of the spender or the donor. In other words, if I think that it would be really useful to help President Trump win the election by making a contribution to the National Rifle Association, that’s not a campaign expenditure, despite my subjective intent.”
FEC Commissioner Trainor further told Washington Secrets neither the FEC nor the DOJ found any campaign finance violations in the Stormy Daniels case, noting that the jury in the Manhattan indictment “is going to see that and they’re going to have to rely upon the fact that both the law enforcement experts and the civil enforcement experts, as far as campaign finance are concerned, didn’t find any violation of the law here.”