Wednesday, August 22, 2018

By popular demand

2016: Russia!
2017: Russia!!
2018: Failing to file FEC form EXP241 claiming a campaign expense!

Here's your "high crime" for impeachment:
The Federal Election Commission rules examine this through the lens of whether campaign funds have been put to personal use; the commission applies something called the Irrespective Test. The law says that something is personal if it’s "any commitment, obligation, or expense of a person that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s election campaign."
By that standard, said Emory School of Law professor Michael Kang, "the circumstances and context here are suspicious," but it’s no slam-dunk that the payment was an expenditure on behalf of the campaign. 
In fact, we know that Trump repaid Cohen from personal funds and the precedent already exists indicating it's difficult to show intent with regard to personal matters versus campaign "contributions."  Unless Cohen has a tape indicating that Trump knew this was designed as a campaign contribution, Trump can claim this was another one of his many NDAs to protect his (lascivious) personal life.

Manafort isn't worth mentioning.  A tax evasion charge from a decade ago.  Nice going, Mueller.


Robert Mueller Fisk said...

For those who think there's going to be an impeachment over the Stormy Daniels payoff, you have to believe that Congress, which has a formal process for paying hush money to its members' sexual harassment victims, using taxpayer money, is going to impeach a president for paying hush money to a consenting partner, using his own money.

Imagine the tweets from Trump once he starts working that angle.

Roger Bournival said...

What I'd like to know is this - the IRS audited Manafort for the same periods and found nothing on him. How's that possible?

Eric said...

IIRC, Manafort was looking at prosecution in 2014 but DOJ passed.

Also: I heard on NPR that Republicans are already digging up Democrat quotes from Bill Clinton's impeachment.