Bloomberg BNA (via Election Law Blog): Edwards Case Looms Over Payments to Women Alleging Trump Links
By Ken Doyle
Bradley Smith, a former Republican commissioner on the FEC who now heads the nonprofit Institute for Free Speech, said in a phone interview that it would be “very difficult” to show the payments to women linked to Trump were related to the presidential campaign. Smith noted that Trump had a long history before his candidacy trying to shape his news coverage as a public figure.
Smith said it was likely the FEC would dismiss the Common Cause complaints based on responses from Cohen and others.
Adav Noti, a former FEC staff attorney now with the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center, said the timing of payments to Clifford and McDougal raised serious legal questions. He added, however, that “we don’t know nearly enough facts” to determine whether the campaign finance law was violated.
Whether the FEC will investigate and determine those facts is doubtful, Noti said.