Trump Defends Hush Money Payments as ‘Simple Private Transaction’

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Donald Trump on Monday defended hush money payments reported by his former lawyer a day after Democrats said the U.S. president could face impeachment and jail time if the transactions are proven to be campaign finance violations.

Trump, in early morning tweets, said Democrats were wrongly targeting “a simple private transaction” after court filings last week drew renewed attention to six-figure payments by his personal lawyer to two women during the 2016 campaign so they would not discuss affairs with Trump.

On Sunday, U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, who will lead the Judiciary Committee when Democrats take control of the House of Representatives next month, said if the payments were found to violate campaign finance laws it would be an impeachable offense.

His Democratic counterpart on the Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam Schiff, said Trump could be indicted and could “face the real prospect of jail time.”

Under U.S. law, campaign contributions, defined as things of value given to a campaign to influence an election, must be disclosed. Such payments are also limited to $2,700 per person.

Trump earlier this year acknowledged repaying his former lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 paid to porn star Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels. He previously disputed knowing anything about the payments.

On Monday, the president again denied wrongdoing and shifted any blame on Cohen.

“There was NO COLLUSION. So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution, which it was not,” Trump tweeted. “But even if it was, it is only a CIVIL CASE, like Obama’s – but it was done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine. Lawyer’s liability if he made a mistake, not me.”

U.S. prosecutors on Friday sought prison time for Cohen, Trump’s self-proclaimed “fixer,” for the payments directed by Trump as well as on charges of evading taxes and lying to Congress.

The case stemmed from a federal investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign. Russia has denied interfering and Trump said his campaign did not cooperate with Moscow.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Susan Thomas)

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Sharon Belhamel
Member

Alan Dershowitz had the smartest answer to this. If this were a crime, then there will be a whole lot of folks on both sides of the isle who will need to be charged with a crime. Do we want to go down that road, or write this off as the silliness that it is. Trump has likely been paying off women for years before he began running for president. NDAs are not illegal. I have even signed NDAs that companies have required. Stormy Daniels committed extortion by asking for money to keep quiet.

Politics newscast
Member

trump will always deny the russian propes he will claim he isn’t involved so let me say he could be impeached but it will not work.. unless we find a way to get it working on that path by 2020 wait till the election and throw some dirt its nots the reality that we live in its no denying he is incapable of doing his job without doing something so.. we will see soon very soon if we like it or not

Screwtape
Member

Nadler and Schitt have to do something. Prove it.
Until then this is just another diversionary smear against the President.
One wonders what might be accomplished if they actually did their own jobs, i.e. legislate, instead of interfering with the president doing his own.

Cherl
Member

This investigation, but really mean Salem witch hunt, was about Russian collusion. So how do they end up here?? The most recent were Kennedy and Clinton who cheated on their wives while actually living in our White House. What a sorry bunch most of these liberals are. Sore losers all of them. I would vote for Trump again but take his twitter account away.

LastTaxPayer
Member

SO, let me get this straight…..Our Idiots in Congress have been using TAXPAYER Money, or Campaign Funds, to Pay HUSH Money (Involving sexual misconduct) for YEARS, UNREPORTED TO THE PUBLIC……And Trump commits an Impeachable Offense????

WP Taylor
Member

If the charge is upheld, every single gift over some trivially small value by every single Federal elected official to anybody would necessarily be a campaign contribution. I wonder how Congressmen’s wives will feel about a trivially small gift for birthday or Christmas. If we got the right Attorney General, all of Congress could be charged!

Steven Eighner
Member

I believe Trump is innocent and at best his opposition can only prove payments were made but not that he was involved. But leave it to Trump and his FN tweets to make himself look guilty. He’s been saying all along he wasn’t involved and Fridays revelations didn’t provide anything new… it was the media trying to stir people up for ratings over the weekend as all prosecutors said on Friday was Cohen would be prosecuted to the max and should do serious prison time. Trump is an idiot!

Rosstaman
Member

Little Adam Schiff and his cronies in the liberal media are making a big deal out of nothing. What a waste of taxpayer dollars to even think of doing an investigation on something so trivial. They (liberals and their media cronies) will do anything, say anything to make Trump look bad. They have engaged in an illegal public smear job since the day Trump was elected. Get back to dealing with the important issues that face our country and get back to reporting the news.

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