“The Trump White House’s new hush-money problem”

Aaron Blake for WaPo:

In this case, about the only campaign finance question would be whether this would be considered a legitimate campaign expense, said election-law expert Rick Hasen of the University of California, Irvine.

“I’m not sure I’ve seen a campaign try to claim hush money as a legitimate expense, but of course the whole point of the Stormy Daniels payments controversy is that they were not made from the campaign account and reported when they were campaign related,” Hasen said.

Larry Noble, a campaign-finance lawyer at the Campaign Legal Center, said the fact that Manigault Newman ostensibly would have had a job with the campaign might make it less problematic.

“If, however, the offer of the campaign job was just a cover to pay her for the NDA, it raises a more difficult issue,” Noble said. “There is a difference between using campaign funds to deal with personal matters that may be embarrassing (e.g. the legal defense of a drunk-driving charge), which is not allowed, and matters more directly connected to your campaign or your job as an officeholder.”


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