- The Washington Times - Monday, January 22, 2018

Common Cause filed a complaint with both the Department of Justice and Federal Elections Commission on Monday concerning a payment made to the adult film star reported to have had an affair with President Trump.

The liberal-leaning watchdog group asks the two agencies to look into whether the $130,000 payment made to Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, through an LLC, originated from the Trump Organization or another business or individual person.

“These actions are just the latest examples of the president, his family, his campaign, and subsequently administration, playing fast and loose with the laws that apply to them. If these laws are not fully enforced, they will be ignored by candidates and administrations going forward to the detriment of our democracy,” Paul S. Ryan, Common Cause vice president for policy and litigation, said in a statement.

The complaint says that DOJ and the FEC need to review the payment since the funds were used for the purpose of influencing the election. The group argues it could be considered an unreported in-kind contribution to Donald J. Trump for President Inc. 

If it is considered a contribution, it would exceed the $2,700 limit individuals are allowed to give federal candidates, making it an illegal contribution. Corporations are also barred from giving to federal candidates.

The Wall Street Journal broke the story earlier this month that Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s longtime lawyer, arranged the payment in exchange for Ms. Clifford’s silence one month before the election.

Vice President Mike Pence said Monday the allegation of any affair with Mr. Trump is “baseless,” The Associated Press reported. Mr. Pence is currently on a foreign trip to the Middle East and was asked about the report.


• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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