Activist Calls Indictment Of Former President Donald Trump A ‘Nothing Burger’ And Political Witch Hunt

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It appears that the New York City Grand Jury under the direction of District Attorney Alan Bragg has returned an indictment against former President Donald Trump regarding so-called “hush payments” to Stormy Daniels for an alleged affair in 2006.

Donald Trump’s Indictment Charge is A ‘Nothing Burger’

“While the indictment has not been released and the specific charges unknown, as NLPC has previously stated, such a charge is a “nothing burger” that lacks legal merit and smacks of a political and malicious prosecution,” said Paul Kamenar, NLPC’s counsel.

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The ostensible “crime” is that the payment of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels in 2016 arranged by Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who signed a Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA), which is totally legal, was later misreported as legal fees, a misdemeanor with a two-year statute of limitations, which has long expired.

In order to bootstrap that paperwork violation into a Class E Felony (the lowest felony level), Bragg purportedly alleges that the payment was in effect an in-kind campaign contribution, a federal offense.

That charge is defective for a number of reasons:

  1. The felony statute has a five-year statute of limitations which has also expired.
  2. The theory that this was a federal campaign contribution is not only outside the jurisdiction of the local New York authorities, both the Federal Election Commission and the U.S. Attorney General, which has jurisdiction over any such offense, have passed on bringing any such campaign charges, for good reason: the payment was for personal reasons to avoid embarrassment to Trump’s family.
  3. The Justice Department brought similar charges against former Democratic Senator John Edwards who received $900,000 from a major donor to pay off his mistress and love child while Edwards was still married in 2011. The jury acquitted Edwards on one count and was hung on the other four charges. The Justice Department declined to re-prosecute. Here, Trump repaid Cohen with his personal funds and hence, there was no chance of an outside donor influencing an election.
  4. Finally, if it were an illegal campaign in-kind contribution, FEC rules allow for the campaign to repay the contribution with campaign funds, which Trump could have done but did not do.

“District Attorney Alan Bragg ran on a campaign supported by George Soros to get Trump, yet waited until after Trump announced he was running for President to seek an indictment. It was wrong to go after Senator Edwards in 2011 and wrong to go after Trump now,” said Peter Flaherty, NLPC Chair.

About NLPC

NLPC is a nonprofit ethics watchdog group based in the Washington, D.C. area.