“Stormy Daniels Lawsuit Opens Door to Further Trouble for Trump”


Mr. Cohen has said that he “facilitated” the payment with his own money and was not reimbursed by Mr. Trump’s company or campaign, and that the payment was “not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.” But in her suit, Ms. Clifford tries to implicate Mr. Trump in the transaction, saying the offer of money was intended to buy her silence to help “ensure he won the presidential election.”

Paul S. Ryan, the vice president for litigation and policy at Common Cause, said that assertion makes clear that the payment was connected to the campaign. “That’s a threshold legal issue, establishing that the purpose of the payment was to influence the election,” he said.

Jan Baran, a former general counsel to the Republican National Committee, said the facts so far do not support the notion that the payment to Ms. Clifford was “indisputably directly for the campaign itself.” It could have simply been a personal matter, he said, of Mr. Trump wishing to keep a secret from his wife.


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