FactCheck.org: Q&A on Stormy Daniels’ Payment
In a series of early morning tweets on May 3, President Donald Trump acknowledged for the first time that he reimbursed his personal attorney for the $130,000 payment that was made to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Giuliani is wrong, according to Larry Noble, a former general counsel at the FEC, who is now senior director and general counsel at the Campaign Legal Center. Noble told us that Cohen and Trump could have committed a campaign finance violation, regardless of how Trump reimbursed Cohen
What matters is Cohen’s intent when he paid Daniels and whether Trump or someone in his campaign knew about the payment, Noble told us in a phone interview.
“If Michael Cohen really did this on his own and was not an agent to the campaign in any way and wasn’t motivated by the election — then it is not a violation of the law,” Noble told us. “As soon as the campaign knows about it, then it is an [illegal] in-kind contribution. The question here is, when did the campaign know about it and did Trump know about it?”
Noble told us there is enough evidence for the FEC to investigate possible campaign finance violations, which could lead to either civil fines or a criminal referral to the Department of Justice.