No wonder the source has it so wrong. "Alternet." Joke.L'Emmerdeur wrote: ↑Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:51 amThe jury acquitted Edwards, but the judge in the case ruled on the issue of payoffs, and it doesn't support the Trump team's attempt to use the 'irrespective test.' From a recent Washington Post piece:
Giuliani on television Sunday seemed very sure of himself, but what he said is problematic in light of the above:Edwards repeatedly argued that the payments were not campaign contributions because they were not made exclusively to further his campaign. The judge rejected this argument as a matter of law, ruling that a payment to a candidate’s extramarital sexual partner is a campaign contribution if “one of” the reasons the payment is made is to influence the election.
Giuliani tried to claim that, as long as the payments were made for a reason other than the campaign, then they wouldn't run afoul of election law.
"If there’s another purpose, it’s no longer a campaign contribution — if there’s a personal purpose," said Giuliani.
But [Washington Post reporter Aaron] Blake explained why this is wrong:
So clearly, Giuliani doesn't understand the law in question. But even worse, his comments appear to be an admission that helping the campaign was a clear purpose of the payment.The law does not say that a campaign finance violation exists only if the “sole purpose” of it is to affect a campaign. In fact, it says a contribution is “any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office.” This definition doesn’t carve out exceptions for things that were also for personal purposes (indeed, if that were the case, basically nothing would qualify). Instead, it says anything with a campaign benefit is a contribution.
When, during his ABC New interview, George Stephanopoulos said that the AMI payment to Karen McDougal would be "clearly illegal" as a campaign contribution, Giuliani said, "No, it would not be."
He continued: "It's not a contribution. It's not a contribution if it's intended for a purpose in addition to the campaign purpose."
This would seem to be a clear admission that the AMI payment was made, at least in part, for a campaign purpose. Since Giuliani is wrong that any additional purpose excludes the payment from being a campaign contribution, it seems nearly certain that he just admitted his client broke the law.
A third-party’s payment of a candidate’s campaign or personal expense qualifies as a “contribution,” except where “the payment would have been made irrespective of the candidacy” (11 C.F.R. § 113.1(g)(6)). Candidates may spend personal funds to support their campaign—and, importantly, these contributions are not subject to the $2,700 per person per election limit applicable to other donors (52 U.S.C. § 30116)—but these contributions still must be disclosed (11 C.F.R. § 104.3(a)(3)(ii)) and properly reported on FEC filings.
That is EXACTLY what I've been saying. So, if a payment to a paramour would have been made irrespective of the candidacy, then it's not a campaign contribution, and need not be reported. It's easy to make the case here that a payment to a woman, similar to other payments made in one's personal life before the candidacy, would have been made, because other similar payments WERE made. And, they were made to keep bad press out of the news, keep a wife and children from finding out, and benefiting business and celebrity issues.
Now, you can argue all you want, as could a prosecutor, that the expense is not one that would exist irrespective of the campaign, and the proof would be in the witnesses and documentation.
However, I think a sober reflection on the issue reveals that this payment is in a giant grey area where we really aren't going to get a definitive answer, and it's hard to get "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" when you really don't have objective evidence here.
Moreover, Trump can point out that on the other side of the coin we have the "campaign expenditure" rules -- the question we ask there is whether the payment to a paramour for his or her discretion is properly a campaign expense. Is it? Because if the money paid by Trump to Daniels is a "campaign contribution" then that means that what it was contributed for was a "campaign expense." If it's a campaign expense, then that means that the payment should have been made with campaign money and disclosed, and the violation is one of disclosure only (because Trump's own contributions are unlimited).
So, if it's is a payment that would be made "irrespective" of the campaign, then it's not a campaign contribution. But, if it is a campaign contribution, then it would also be a campaign expense, meaning paying women to keep their yaps shut would PROPERLY be paid with campaign money. The only other alternative is that a perfectly lawful non-disclosure agreement is neither personal, nor campaign, and thus impermissible, even though legal - and that presents a VERY thorny issue, because it's one thing when the subject matter is illicit, like a paramour, and it's quite another if the non-disclosure was about some other kind of civil settlement. It would basically mean that any payment for confidentiality, nondisclosure and nondisparagement would be an impermissible payment ONLY for people running for office.