CHEATO: Guess who Trump’s throwing under the bus now in the dark ‘n’ Stormy sitch?
Donald Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, is arguing that the hush money paid to Stormy Daniels had nothing to do with the 2016 presidential campaign, but was in fact an effort to keep Melania Trump from hearing the allegations.
Sometimes when a cheater gets caught, they blame their spouse — but that’s not usually in a court of law, where they’ve been accused of violating campaign finance laws to cover up the cheating.
Trump’s attorney at the time, Michael Cohen, has admitted to making payments to Daniels to keep her from sharing her story publicly, and to later being reimbursed by Trump under the guise of payment for legal services.
Now, it could be Trump’s turn to finally face consequences –but he has an excuse that some legal experts think might get him off the hook.
If he was hiding the (alleged) affair because he was running for president, then the payments could constitute a campaign finance violation — that is, they’d be money paid to assist his campaign, and done outside laws regulating that sort of contribution.
Trump’s legal team is setting up an argument that he wasn’t covering up the allegations due to his campaign, though, but in order to keep the story from his wife, who was at home with their newborn when he was reportedly cavorting with an adult film star.
Tacopina characterized the hush money payments as Trump being the victim of extortion, though he refused to say whether Trump had authorized the payment.
He also insisted that a false documentation of the payment would not necessarily be a crime, and asserted that the most important point is that the payments were in no way connected to the presidential campaign.
He told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos (clip below):
“It’s not a contribution to his campaign. He made this with personal funds to prevent something coming out, false, but embarrassing to himself his family, his young son. That’s not a campaign finance violation, not by any stretch.”
If Trump had hoped to keep Melania in the dark, Stormy effectively circumvented that — she shared with In Touch a story the former president told her about Melania fixing the baby’s hair like his own as a joke, and according to Esquire, described his genitals and his feelings about them in her book — information that, if true, would surely be recognizable to Melania.
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Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.