Federal Elections Commissioner James Trainor last week said the charges against former President Trump brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg are not a campaign finance violation nor is there a “reporting violation of any kind,” the Washington Examiner reported.
Trainor argued that by trying to twist the law to make Trump’s hush money payment look like a violation of federal election laws, Bragg is “trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole.”
He argued that both the Justice Department and the FEC already looked into the case and refused to pursue it.
Trainor, who was appointed to the FEC by Trump, explained why in 2018, the FEC chose not to pursue the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels.
He noted that former Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen took the blame for the payment as part of his plea deal. Additionally, the paperwork violation happened long after Trump was elected, so it could not have been done to benefit his election.
What’s more, Trainor explained, it isn’t clear that the only reason for the payment or the reimbursement to Cohen was to influence the 2016 election, therefore it fails the “objective standard” of the law.
He said the objective standard has to be something anyone could look at and conclude that the only reason it was done was to influence the election. He explained that there were “a lot of reasons” the hush money payment was made that had nothing to do with Trump being a candidate for president.
Trainor also noted that the statute of limitations was already running out in 2018 making the case not worth the time or expense to pursue.
Trainor added that since neither the Justice Department nor the FEC, which has the “ultimate jurisdiction over campaign finance issues” found any election law violations, the jury in Trump’s trial will likely see that and know that, as far as campaign finance laws are concerned, there was no violation of the law.