The 4 Possible Felonies From Rudy Giuliani’s Admission

Ted Lieu, Jerry Brown

Ted Lieu explains Trump’s legal jeopardy now that Rudy Giuliani has admitted he paid Stormy Daniels hush money back to Michael Cohen.

In a stunning admission, Rudy Giuliani, a member of Trump’s legal team, told Fox News host Sean Hannity Wednesday night that Trump paid back his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, the $130,000 in hush money that was used to pay off Stormy Daniels.

As Fox News reported:

Amid a wide-ranging interview, Giuliani told Hannity that Trump reimbursed his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, $130,000 that Cohen paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 election in exchange for her silence about a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.

Vox News reported that:

Giuliani’s revelation contradicts a statement Trump made last month in which he denied knowing anything about the payment Cohen had made to Daniels as part of a nondisclosure agreement to keep her from speaking about an alleged affair she had with Trump in 2006.

“You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael Cohen is my attorney,” Trump said in April, when asked about the payment. “You’ll have to ask Michael.”

Democratic Representative Led Lieu of California was quick to respond to the news.

He started by posting a link to a thread discussing the admission posted by Paul Seamus Ryan, the Vice President of Policy & Litigation at political watchdog, Common Cause.

The lead post of Ryan’s thread read as follows: “Giuliani’s statement that @realDonaldTrump reimbursed Cohen for the $130k payment to @StormyDaniels puts Trump on the hook for criminal violation of campaign finance laws. Violation is only criminal if knowing and willful. Trump reimbursement=Trump knowledge.”

Lieu responded by tweeting: “Here’s a fun fact: campaign finance law violations over $25k are felonies. The in kind contribution of $130k to Stormy Daniels was over that line. The reimbursement constitutes a separate crime of covering up the true source of a contribution. Also likely banking law violations.”

Norm Eisen, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute, CNN commentator, and Chairman of CREW ( Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington), weighed in as well, tweeting: “Whoa, Rudy may just have proven our @CREWcrew complaint that Trump broke the law by failing to disclose the loan from Cohen on his federal presidential financial disclosures. Those are filed under criminal penalty for false statements, 18 USC 1001.”

Ted Lieu followed, replying that there were “4 possible felonies” from Rudy Giuliani admission:

  1. $130k payment to Stormy was in-kind coordinated contribution above limits
  2. Cohen was a straw donor used to cover up true source of contribution
  3. False statements on financial disclosures
  4. False statements on banking forms

To make matters worse, Trump dug his heels in first thing Thursday morning with another Twitter-Tantrum.

Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA. These agreements are very common among celebrities and people of wealth. In this case it is in full force and effect and will be used in Arbitration for damages against Ms. Clifford (Daniels). The agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair despite already having signed a detailed letter admitting that there was no affair. Prior to its violation by Ms. Clifford and her attorney, this was a private agreement. Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll in this transaction.

Samuel Warde
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