The tempest over the Stormy Daniels affair took a new turn today as Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed official complaints with the Justice Department as well as with the Office of Government Ethics over the payment of hush money to the erotic-film performer for her silence over her sexual dalliance with President Trump.
In a letter to both of those government agencies, Noah Bookbinder, the Executive Director of CREW, calls on them to:
“[I]nvestigate and determine whether a surreptitious payment made to a third party shortly before the 2016 presidential election by President Donlad J. Trump’s personal attorney or a limited liability company (“LLC”) the attorney created constituted a loan to President Trump that he should have reported as a liability on his public financial disclosure (“OGE 278″) report, and if President Trump knowingly and willfully failed to report it.”
With reports that Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, had been overheard complaining that he had not been reimbursed by the president for the $130,000 payment to Daniels, The Hill reports that CREW is asking the federal agencies to determine whether Trump broke campaign finance laws by failing to include it on his financial disclosure forms.
“The more we learn about the Essential Consultants affair, the more it looks like something is missing from the president’s financial disclosures,” CREW Board Chairman Norman Eisen said in a press release, referring to a company Cohen created to make the payment. “If he failed to disclose this situation, we must ask, what else is he hiding?” Eisen continued.
Trump is in yet another no-win situation with the Stormy Daniels tempest. If he continues to deny the affair, the question remains as to why his personal lawyer took a second mortgage on his home to pay a large sum of money to an adult-film actress to keep quiet about a supposedly non-existent relationship.
If he enforces the non-disclosure agreement, he is essentially admitting that he’s trying to hide something, and it doesn’t take a stable genius to figure out what that might be.
It will be interesting to see if the two federal agencies, which report to the President as part of the executive branch of government, will take up the investigation that CREW is demanding. Even more interesting is whether the American public, so numbed by the daily litany of scandals emerging from the White House, will even care.
With a porn star involved, we at least know that they’ll be paying attention.
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