Donald Trump could be in felony violation of election law around his alleged payment to adult star Stormy Daniels, a Democratic congressman is claiming.
This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that First Republic bank alerted the Treasury Department about lawyer Michael Cohen’s $130,000 wire transfer to adult film star Stormy Daniels. The Wall Street Journal had initially reported that Trump arranged for Cohen to pay Daniels in exchange for her silence about an affair with Trump in 2006, just after his wife gave birth to their son.
The latest report claimed that the bank inquiry came well after the payment had been made and could suggest money laundering.
“The one-year lag between the payment by Mr. Cohen and the bank inquiry is unusual,” the report noted. “It suggests that City National received new information that prompted it to take a fresh look at the transaction, said Charles Intriago, a former federal prosecutor and money-laundering expert.”
The report was seized on by Democratic congressman Ted Lieu, who said the report suggested that Michael Cohen was illegally coordinating with Donald Trump’s campaign. That would be a serious violation of federal election law and put Trump in danger of felony charges, he suggested. Lieu said he had already asked the FBI to investigate the payment.
If this article is true, it shows Cohen coordinated with @realDonaldTrump or his campaign. That makes the $130k payment to Stormy Daniels a felony in violation of federal election law.— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 5, 2018
Last week @RepKathleenRice & I asked @FBI to investigate this suspicious payment. https://t.co/WbH4013apV
The Wall Street Journal report also claimed that Donald Trump had yet to reimburse Michael Cohen for making the payment to Stormy Daniels. Cohen denied the report.
Bank used by Trump lawyer to wire $130,000 to former porn actress Stormy Daniels flagged transaction to Treasury as suspicious https://t.co/RLO5dFMAz5— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) March 5, 2018
The reports come at a difficult time for Donald Trump, who has seen the Russian investigation move closer within his inner circle and a series of other controversies. Trump’s call for steel and aluminum tariffs have also brought resistance from the Republican Party, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying he would oppose Trump’s plans to impose the tariffs, Vox reported.
Donald Trump has also seen his approval ratings sink again after the numbers had been on the rise to start the year, and another poll found that close to 60 percent of Americans believe that Trump is racist, CNN noted. Although the controversy surrounding the payment to Stormy Daniels does not appear to be going away, Trump has continued to deny having an affair with the former adult film star.