Newsweek: Expect a Fight at the FCC Over That Stormy Daniels Payment


As the cost of U.S. elections has risen in recent years, the Federal Election Commission’s view of its own enforcement role has grown sharply divided along ideological lines. In this context, the question of whether longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s $130,000 hush money payment to adult actress Stormy Daniels was an illegal campaign contribution is unlikely to be settled soon, or smoothly.

“It was very different when I was there,” Larry Noble, who served as the commission’s general counsel from 1987 to 2000, told Newsweek. “There were always partisan differences. But they would try to reach a compromise. Now, splits are ideological. Republicans vote against enforcing anybody. Democrats vote to enforce against everybody.”


“As an enforcement agency, it doesn’t work,” said Noble, who is now general counsel for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center.

Now, the nondisclosure agreement signed by Daniels (whose given name is Stephanie Clifford) has brought the internal issues of the FEC to the forefront. 

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