“A secret pact at Trump Tower helped kill bad stories in 2016”

This Washington Post summary of yesterday’s testimony highlights how the prosecution is attempting to turn a potential federal campaign finance violation into a state-law criminal offense. The “secret pact” to influence the election through a “catch-and-kill” scheme to suppress stories unfavorable to Trump would not be illegal, given the First Amendment, unless it amounted to some sort of unlawful financial contribution to Trump’s campaign. And even if it were, there are all the legal issues associated with tying it to state-law crimes. So what The Washington Post describes as potentially “significant damage” to Trump from David Pecker’s testimony may ultimate depend on legal rulings down the road on the implications of that testimony under the applicable federal and state laws.

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