Hushing the hush payments

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Michael Cohen, the former lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives back at home after being released from prison during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., May 21, 2020. Photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters.

Do you remember Essential Consultants, LLC? Michael Cohen’s company established to make hush payments to Stephanie Clifford (a.k.a. Stormy Daniels) and Karen MacDougal to stop them from publicly disclosing their affairs with Donald Trump before the 2016 election. Michael Cohen ultimately pleaded guilty to making an excessive campaign contribution, but nobody else faced legal consequences for the concealed payment. And now the FEC has dropped its investigation into the matter, citing prosecutorial discretion. What does that mean? Why? Is this the end of the road?

Plus: would Giuliani flip on Trump and would Ken want him as a witness? Can Trump use campaign funds to pay Rudy’s legal fees? Is “Foxitus” a legal defense? And: more reasons why being in lock-up is horrible and dangerous (but not a reasons judges are sympathetic to when considering pretrial detention) and FOIA-ing for information about Champ and Major Biden, the First Dogs.



Sara Fay