Watchdog Group Files Complaint Against Trump Campaign Over Stormy Daniels Payments

The payment "should have been reported" because it was used to influence the election, says Common Cause.

The nonprofit watchdog group Common Cause has filed a complaint with the Department of Justice and Federal Elections Commission, arguing that an alleged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged affair with Donald Trump may have violated campaign finance laws.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen arranged to pay Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, $130,000 in 2016 to stay mum about an affair she allegedly had with Trump shortly after his son Barron was born. Clifford said she had an affair with Trump in a 2011 interview with In Touch magazine.

The Journal reported that Cohen created a private Delaware limited liability company, Essential Consultants, LLC, to pay Clifford. Cohen has denied the allegations.

The complaint, filed with the Justice Department and the FEC, says there’s “reason to believe” that the alleged payment to Clifford was an “unreported in-kind” campaign contribution, which would be a violation of campaign finance law.

Common Cause, which has called for a full investigation, says the alleged funds should be considered a campaign contribution and should have been reported because they were paid “for the purpose of influencing the outcome of the 2016 presidential general election.”

Cohen dismissed the double complaint in an email to The Washington Post.

“The Common Cause complaint is baseless along with the allegation that President Trump filed a false report to the FEC,” he wrote.

Vice President Mike Pence told The Associated Press on Monday that he couldn’t comment on the latest “baseless allegation against the president.”