(JustPatriots.com)- Former President Donald Trump will no longer have to face the music about alleged hush money payments he made to women before the 2016 presidential election.
This week, the Federal Elections Commission abruptly closed its investigation into whether Trump made illegal hush money payments. The vote to close the investigation was 4-1.
The FEC said it failed to find that the former president or members of his campaign “knowingly and willfully” decided to violate campaign finance law. The incident in question was when Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 so she wouldn’t disclose an alleged affair she had with Trump.
In 2018, Cohen was convicted of lying to Congress, as well as tax evasion and other charges that all related to the payments he made to Daniels and other women. For those charges, he served three years in prison.
Cohen’s attorney said his client testified in court that the payments he made were “for the principal purpose of influencing an election.”
That led government officials to push for a full investigation into Trump’s role in the payments, and whether he knew about them before they happened.
In December, the Office of General Counsel of the FEC issued a report that found there was “reason to believe” that Trump, Cohen and possibly others in the Trump campaign “knowingly and willingly” violated campaign finance law when they made those payments.
In the end, though, the FED said they weren’t able to prove that any of the parties allegedly involved actually violated the federal campaign finance law. The final vote for that landed on a 2-2 tie.
The panel has two Republican commissioners, Sean Cooksey and Allen Dickerson. They wrote in a joint statement that they believed Cohen had served his time and was criminally punished already. As such, they believed the matter was “not the best use of agency resources.”
Their joint statement read:
“The public record is complete with respect to the conduct at issue in these complaints, and Mr. Cohen has been punished by the government of the United States for the conduct at issue in these matters.”
But, the Democrats on the panel, Shana Broussard (the commission chair) and Ellen Weintraub, said the investigation should have continued. They believed there was no reason to stop it after the general counsel initially ruled that there was reason to believe that the parties broke campaign finance law.
In a separate statement, the commissioners said:
“To conclude that a payment, made 13 days before Election Day to hush up a suddenly newsworthy 10-year-old story, was not campaign-related, without so much as conducting an investigation, defies reality.”
In February, Cohen apologized to Daniels for pain he caused her while he was working for the Trump campaign. On his podcast “Mea Culpa,” he said to Daniels:
“Both of our stories will be forever linked with Donald Trump, but also with one another. Thanks for giving me a second chance.”
He later said:
“If I could just wave a magic wand and make everything go back to the way it was before, I would absolutely do that.”
“I’ve already lost everything. So, I’m taking it all the way.”
Daniels was referring to the fact that she is suing Trump for defamation after the former president denied her allegations that she was paid hush money.