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Former President Donald Trump just scored an unexpected victory courtesy of the Biden administration, and his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is furious.
The Federal Election Commission ruled on Thursday to close its probe into whether he’d violated election laws by allegedly paying $130,000 in hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 presidential election.
The longstanding allegation has been that Cohen paid Daniels off to keep her silent about the alleged decade-old affair she’d had with Trump, who was then the GOP presidential candidate and eventual nominee.
Trump has long denied the affair and claimed that he’d been unaware of the payment made by his attorney to Daniels.
Cohen was eventually convicted for violating campaign finance laws, tax evasion and lying to Congress, but the former president has thus far remained untouched — and from the looks of it, he’ll remain that way.
Michael Cohen takes defiant swipes at Donald Trump on his way into jail https://t.co/bVJegMFFkN
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) May 6, 2019
According to The Washington Post, the FEC’s vote fell on party and gender lines, with two male Republicans voting to drop the probe and two female Democrats voting to keep the probe going. The other members reportedly weren’t present.
“Without a majority voting to move forward, the case was dropped. One Republican member recused himself from the case, and one Democrat was not present to vote on the issue,” the Post reported.
In a joint post-vote statement, the Republicans, commissioners Sean J. Cooksey and James E. “Trey” Trainor III, argued that, with Cohen having been convicted for making the payment, “pursuing these maters further was not the best use of agency resources.”
“The Commission regularly dismisses matters where other government agencies have already adequately enforced and vindicated the Commission’s interests. Furthermore, by the time [Office of the General Counsel’s] recommendations came before us, the Commission was facing an extensive enforcement docket backlog resulting from a prolonged lack of a quorum, and these matters were already statute-of-limitations imperiled,” they wrote.
See or access the original document here:
The commission’s Democrat members, chair Shana Broussard and commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub, felt differently.
“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 in their own joint statement.
“But putting that aside, Cohen testified under oath that he made the payment for the principal purpose of influencing the election. This more than satisfies the Commission’s ‘reason to believe’ standard to authorize an investigation,” they added.
See or access the original document here:
“There is ample evidence in the record to support the finding that Trump and the [Trump Victory] Committee knew of, and nonetheless accepted, the illegal contributions at issue here. Indeed, Cohen provided testimony under penalty of perjury that Trump not only knew about the payment but himself directed Cohen to orchestrate the scheme. And the Commission’s interests in seeing the law enforced with respect to Trump, the Committee, and the Trump Organization have in no way been vindicated,” the angry duo continued.
As of Friday morning, the former president had not yet issued a statement addressing the FEC’s ruling, though one was presumably imminent.
With this ruling, it appears Trump is now free of any distress related to Daniels, though certainly not for a lack of effort by the spurned porn star.
Daniels tried suing the former president for defamation years ago, but the case was swiftly thrown out by a judge. She then tried appealing, but the Supreme Court weighed in on the matter this past February in Trump’s favor.
“In bringing the case to a close, the justices left in place lower court decisions throwing out her suit. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year agreed with a Los Angeles-based federal judge who decided in 2018 that Trump’s remarks were not defamatory and were protected by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech,” Reuters reported at the time.
Despite losing the 2020 presidential election, the former president has scored multiple victories such as these.
In another victory, this one from January, the Supreme Court threw out two lawsuits that had accused Trump “of violating the Constitution’s emoluments clauses by profiting from his hotels and restaurants in New York and Washington,” as reported by The New York Times.
“In brief orders, the court wiped out rulings against Mr. Trump in the two cases and dismissed them as moot. There were no dissents noted,” according to the Times.
These victories, particularly the one from Biden’s FEC, have enraged the former president’s most obsessed critics, including Cohen and his groupies:
“The facts are well known to all. The hush money payment was done at the direction of and for the benefit of Donald J. Trump. Like me, #Trump should have been found guilty. How the FEC committee could rule any other way is confounding.” @nytimes https://t.co/DxvgcDFyVQ
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) May 6, 2021
This just infuriates me @MichaelCohen212 and I’m Canadian. I’m sorry.
— Lilith (@joanfair) May 6, 2021
It’s infuriating. Something smells really bad
— BKay (@BKaytweets) May 6, 2021
This is so wrong.
— GRACIE✌😎🍷🌴 (@TBeach805) May 6, 2021
I am so pissed about this.
Keep telling me that “no one is above the law” but keep proving just the opposite by doing nothing to hold him accountable.
Did we already lose democracy? The rule of law? Are we just living a charade?
— A Little Trouble In Town (@angry_ohio) May 7, 2021
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