The Washington Post: We know that Stormy Daniels got paid. We still don’t know if the payment violated the law.


On Tuesday evening, though, Cohen’s forceful response to the Journal was undercut substantially when the New York Times reported that Cohen had indeed had a hand in getting the money to Daniels — and, in fact, that he had “facilitate[d]” the payment with his “own personal funds.”


There’s a lot of nuance in that statement and in the broader situation. We spoke with Lawrence Noble, senior director and general counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, by phone to walk through where the legal boundaries are — and if Cohen’s assessment that this was not a campaign expenditure is defensible.


“It goes beyond the question of well, did it go through the campaign,” Noble said. “If it’s for the purpose of influencing the election, it’s a campaign contribution. The question here is, was it done for the purpose of the election?”


“If there was a history of these type of contributions, donations or gifts to Donald Trump from whoever gave it, then you might say, ‘Well, it’s just another gift that they were giving,'” Noble said. 

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