Law Professor and former FEC chairman Bradley Smith spoke with conservative radio host Mark Levin on Tuesday. He laid out the reason why the payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels from President Trump’s private attorney Michael Cohen could not be an in-kind campaign contribution.
“Here’s the bottom line,” Smith told Levin. “The purpose of those laws is to prevent corruption and one way campaign contributions or in-kind campaign contributions are different than bribes is that you have to use them to get elected. You can’t use them to buy yourself grandfather clocks or fur coats or Rolex watches or something like that.”
He said, “And the FEC standard for that is you can’t use your campaign money for personal use. What they mean by that is you can’t use that for something you’d have to pay anyway that’s not directly for your campaign. The question is, ‘is this really a campaign obligation?’”
Professor Smith continued, “None of these expenditures helped Mr. Trump’s campaign. There’s all kinds of reasons why he may want to make these expenditures even if the allegations made by Stormy Daniels are untrue. Just for family harmony, commercial viability over the long term.”
He emphasized, “Historically, the FEC has said these things are not campaign contributions.”
Professor Smith added, “When the FEC wrote the regulation that says what constitutes campaign expenditures and what constitutes personal use, it rejected specifically the idea that a campaign expenditure was anything related to a campaign, and instead says it has to be something that exists only because of the campaign and solely for that reason.”
Listen to the conversation below (relevant audio starts at 10:32)
H/T The Right Scoop