The liberal media has been mocking President Trump’s assertion that his involvement in the payouts to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal were in any way a violation of campaign finance law. On multiple occasions, Trump has noted that this was a “simple private transaction” unrelated to the campaign, and that if there was any criminal liability, it was on his lawyer, Michael Cohen. He has also argued that if there was any violation, it amounts to a civil case and not a criminal one.
Meanwhile, everyone who has been insisting that Trump is a Russian mole/Dictator/Nazi/Mobster is salivating at the prospect of the president going to prison for a long time.
But one former FEC commissioner says that’s very unlikely.
In an op-ed for Fox News, Hans von Spakovsky – who was on the Federal Elections Commission from 2006 to 2008 – said that prosecutors will find it challenging to prove that these payments were made to illegally influence the election.
“The blackmail threat by Daniels and McDougal to reveal their claims would exist whether or not Trump was running for office. He was a well-known celebrity, and celebrities face these claims all the time,” he said.
He pointed to the similar case of former Senator John Edwards, who was nearly prosecuted for using campaign funds to hush his mistress. Those charges were dropped because the feds could not prove that Edwards paid the woman to protect his political power rather than, as he claimed, simply keep the affair from his wife.
“Convicting Donald Trump of a criminal campaign finance violation will be extremely difficult, if not impossible,” he wrote. “Just as Edwards was found not guilty, the same is likely to happen to President Trump if he is charged while he is president or after he leaves the White House.”
Von Spakovsky noted that it will also be difficult for Democrats to turn this into an issue for impeachment purposes, reminding readers that Obama’s 2008 campaign was also in violation of campaign finance law.
“As for the claim the hush-money payments would be an impeachable offense, members of Congress would have to explain why prior cases in which campaigns like that of Barack Obama paid civil penalties to the Federal Election Commission for violations of federal campaign finance law were not grounds for impeachment,” he wrote.
Well, we’re sure they will explain it by saying: Yeah, but it’s Trump! And we hate Trump!
Have they ever needed any other reason? For any of this?