The New Cohen Recording Doesn't Alone Incriminate President Trump, Experts Say


With the release of a recording of President Donald Trump and his former attorney Michael Cohen discussing a deal to bury a onetime Playboy model’s allegations of an affair with Trump, questions about obscure campaign finance rules are once again front and center.

“AMI would probably not be acting in its ‘legitimate press function’ if the purpose of the payment was to keep the McDougal story from going public,” says Brendan Fischer, the Director of Federal and FEC Reform at Campaign Legal Center. “Certainly there may be circumstances where a news publisher’s editorial decision to run or not run a story could fall under the press exemption,” Fischer added, “but if the goal of a publisher’s $150,000 payment was always to not run the story, it shouldn’t fall under the exemption.”

Fischer also said the other question in the McDougal case is that “whether Trump or his agents were at all involved with the agreement or payment.”

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