Author Topic: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality  (Read 8214 times)

Pete at Home

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #100 on: May 13, 2019, 08:22:17 PM »
Of course, if Trump did know about the payment, then he did not report the campaign expense, which is also illegal.

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GARCIA-NAVARRO: But if he's saying that it's his personal funds, does that make a difference?

NOBLE: Well, it makes a difference in the sense that, if it was his personal funds, it was an individual campaign contribution. If it came from another company or if it did come from the Trump Organization, it was a prohibited contribution. And we don't know what the source could have been. The source could have been another company, could have been another individual. We just don't know. And one of the purposes of the campaign finance laws to allow us to know where the campaigns are getting financed.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Let's talk a little bit about this idea of it being 11 days before the election. Why is that so important?

NOBLE: It suggests that the election was on their mind. Now, she allegedly had the affair about 10 years before. There was a potential article that was going to come out in 2011. But they did not enter the agreement until right before the election. And that is evidence that the purpose of this was for the purpose of influencing the election.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And if that is the case, why is that problematic?

NOBLE: If it's for the purpose of influencing the election, the federal campaign finance laws come into play. So that's where you have the violation of the contribution limits by whoever paid for this - and that you also have the campaign's failure to report this. Everything a campaign does for the election is supposed to be reported and is subject to limits. And that includes even things like this, even though they are things that may be salacious, that people don't want to know about. They are supposed to be reported if they're for the purpose of the campaign.
(Emphasis mine.)

That's a legal positivist argument. Take it to a judge. Some go blue in the face expecting others to get outraged over a legal technicality.

Just before the election Trump gets blackmailed by a whore he shtupped and pays her off. Your saying that his failure to record this as a campaign offense is "the reason he's in trouble"?  Really? All this moral sanctimonious outrage is about *that*?

D.W.

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #101 on: May 14, 2019, 09:31:18 AM »
For me it is.  :P
I require the person I vote for to be "lawful".
I prefer them to be "good".

Anyone brazen enough, stupid enough or sloppy enough to break the law has no business in drafting and enforcing them or other policies >I< am to live by.  Doesn't mean I trust OTHER law makers.  I do think they should all be ready to put under the microscope.  We should expect a lot more out of our senators, congressmen, governors and president.  They should certainly be held to a higher standard (or level of legal scrutiny) than you and me. 

I for one didn't care who he screwed, I just didn't want to add my name to that list.

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #102 on: May 14, 2019, 10:32:50 AM »
Just before the election Trump gets blackmailed by a whore he shtupped and pays her off. Your saying that his failure to record this as a campaign offense is "the reason he's in trouble"?  Really? All this moral sanctimonious outrage is about *that*?

I've pointed out to Wayward, and others, many times, that with Trump's history of NDAs it would be impossible to show that this was for the purpose of influencing the campaign.  In fact, it's a virtual certainty it would have been entered into whether or not the campaign existed.

But even more interesting, if Trump has redirected campaign funds to pay for the NDA it would have been deemed a misappropriation of campaign funds.  And there's no question that it would be pursued on that basis.

The fact is Cohen pled guilty without reasonable cause as part of deal he cut.  Mueller couldn't have won the case of this being a campaign finance violation in any court.

Wayward Son

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #103 on: May 14, 2019, 12:16:30 PM »
I'm not saying that his failure to record this as a campaign offense is "the reason he's in trouble."  I'm telling you that it is. :)

And, actually, you're the one who admitted it to me, since I didn't specify it at all. :D

Seriati, obviously the legal and ethical thing to do was to pay Stormy with his own funds and report it as a campaign contribution.  Nothing in the law (AFAIK) prevents a candidate from contributing to himself.

Instead, he tried to hide the payment and lied about it.  What does that tell you about Trump's legal and ethical intentions?

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #104 on: May 14, 2019, 12:29:33 PM »
Lol, yes, makes total sense, let's enter into a non-disclosure agreement and wait a sec, how do you spell your name for the press release about our non-disclosure agreement?

NDAs are legal.  Whether they should be is a different question.  With his background there's no legitimate way to separate his personal desire for an NDA from a political purpose, which makes treating it as a campaign expense highly questionable and paying for it from campaign funds probably a violation.  Paying for it out of his own money is exactly what should have (and did) happen.

Our campaign finance laws are designed and intended to prevent the misappropriation of campaign funds to private purposes, not to "catch" people spending private funds on private purposes.  Again, what you are seeking is not about the Rule of Law, its about the corruption of law for a political purpose.

Pete at Home

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #105 on: May 14, 2019, 02:48:04 PM »
Quote from: wayward
And, actually, you're the one who admitted it to me, since I didn't specify it at all


Yes you did. In a previous post. I had no idea what you were saying and out of respect to you I read your previous posts to find out what you meant.  Given your insulting response I won't treat you with such respect in the future if you take that as an admission. You just turned into Crunch's counterpart. Is that really how you want to be?
« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 02:50:08 PM by Pete at Home »

rightleft22

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #106 on: May 14, 2019, 03:29:02 PM »
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Instead, he tried to hide the payment and lied about it.  What does that tell you about Trump's legal and ethical intentions?

I don't think those that support Trump rhetoric and policies care much about his moral or ethical character or what hes done to protect his persona. Many actually admire it

Trump is defining the new normal with regards to the moral character of leadership, (weather the evangelicals want to acknowledge that or not), but maybe that a good thing. Maybe questionable morals doesn't matter when it comes to leadership. Honestly does it matter? When it suits our purpose, right or left, we tend to look away when looking away gets us what we think we want. Maybe its time to stop pretending.

Fenring

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #107 on: May 14, 2019, 03:32:44 PM »
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Instead, he tried to hide the payment and lied about it.  What does that tell you about Trump's legal and ethical intentions?

I don't think those that support Trump rhetoric and policies care much about his moral or ethical character or what hes done to protect his persona. Many actually admire it

I think this is a crazy point to even make. It makes literally no sense to argue that he morally should have publicly declared a NDA to cover over an affair. You could argue that he shouldn't have had an affair, but this point is ridiculous. Now to be fair this isn't totally unlike what Clinton received over Lewinsky, except that there they had him on perjury. But that, too, was likely a trumped up charge to try to trap him with something over what was otherwise a moral affair used against him for political purposes. The Europeans laughed. Only Americans could pretend that this is a capital political crime when all the while insane human rights violations go on behind closed doors (and sometimes in front of them).

Wayward Son

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #108 on: May 14, 2019, 06:32:44 PM »
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Lol, yes, makes total sense, let's enter into a non-disclosure agreement and wait a sec, how do you spell your name for the press release about our non-disclosure agreement?

To which I say, too bad.  :P  His stupidity is not an excuse to break the law.

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NDAs are legal.  Whether they should be is a different question.  With his background there's no legitimate way to separate his personal desire for an NDA from a political purpose, which makes treating it as a campaign expense highly questionable and paying for it from campaign funds probably a violation.

Define "legitimate."  He had years to make sure she signed an NDA.  During all that time, he apparently wasn't worried about her blabbing to his wife, etc.  But suddenly, just before the election, it becomes a serious personal issue, completely separate from his running for President?  What a coincidence!  ::)

It certainly appears to be campaign related.

And, as I said before, what would prevent him from paying from his personal funds and declaring it a "campaign contribution?"  An in-kind contribution of sorts, where he didn't put money in the campaign, just reported the value that was used to be part of his campaign?  That seems to me to legally cover him.  And if it made the NDA useless, well, as I said before, not my problem. :)

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Again, what you are seeking is not about the Rule of Law, its about the corruption of law for a political purpose.

No, what you're trying to do is excuse Trump from breaking the law.

Quote from: wayward
And, actually, you're the one who admitted it to me, since I didn't specify it at all


Yes you did. In a previous post. I had no idea what you were saying and out of respect to you I read your previous posts to find out what you meant.  Given your insulting response I won't treat you with such respect in the future if you take that as an admission. You just turned into Crunch's counterpart. Is that really how you want to be?

Good detective work on your part, since I didn't even remember that I had addressed this issue previously in this thread.  My apologies.  I assumed you just remembered it, since just about all the liberal pundits who discussed the issue at the time made it very clear that his breaking campaign finance law was the primary reason Trump was being criticized.  I was afraid this was another case of selective memory, where conservatives ascribe motivations and reasons to liberals that have little to nothing to do with their real motivations.  Again, my apologies.

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I think this is a crazy point to even make. It makes literally no sense to argue that he morally should have publicly declared a NDA to cover over an affair.

Once again, it's not a moral question but a legal one.  Spending money to help his campaign, by making sure Stormy didn't blab, should have been reported.  The moral and ethical lapse was Trump believing he didn't need to obey the law, then lying like a dog to cover it up.

Fenring

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #109 on: May 14, 2019, 09:39:16 PM »
Define "legitimate."  He had years to make sure she signed an NDA.  During all that time, he apparently wasn't worried about her blabbing to his wife, etc.  But suddenly, just before the election, it becomes a serious personal issue, completely separate from his running for President?  What a coincidence!  ::)

It certainly appears to be campaign related.

I'm not sure what's so hard to understand. You are insisting that Trump decided to do this right at election time, as if there was no possibility that it was her choice of timing to maximize the damage to him and/or increase her chances of a great settlement.

Pete at Home

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #110 on: May 15, 2019, 01:50:55 AM »
Wayward, I gratefully receive and acknowledge your graceful apology. Thank you for your very reasonable explanation

Pete at Home

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #111 on: May 15, 2019, 01:55:39 AM »
As for daniels, EN ESPANOL DECIMOS' CUERPO DE TENTACION CARA DE ARREPENTIMIENTO.

rightleft22

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #112 on: May 15, 2019, 09:53:24 AM »
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I think this is a crazy point to even make. It makes literally no sense to argue that he morally should have publicly declared a NDA to cover over an affair.

My intention was not to argue that point - only that the morale argument of such issues no longer matter. The moral arguments only seem to matter when it the 'other guy' while we (in general) look away when its 'our guy'

Lets embrasure the moment and end the pretense that we actually care about such things. How nice it might be to never have to argue about such matters again.

Wayward Son

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #113 on: May 15, 2019, 11:47:53 AM »
Define "legitimate."  He had years to make sure she signed an NDA.  During all that time, he apparently wasn't worried about her blabbing to his wife, etc.  But suddenly, just before the election, it becomes a serious personal issue, completely separate from his running for President?  What a coincidence!  ::)

It certainly appears to be campaign related.

I'm not sure what's so hard to understand. You are insisting that Trump decided to do this right at election time, as if there was no possibility that it was her choice of timing to maximize the damage to him and/or increase her chances of a great settlement.

Let's dispense with "possibilities."  What are the actual facts in this case?  Whose choice was it regarding timing?  Was she the one who asked for the hush money?  Why would she ask for it, since she already talked about the affair back in 2006?  (Hard to ask someone to "hush" something that was already public knowledge. :) )  What actually happened?

No reason to speculate.  If she was the one who forced the payment at that time, you have a point.  But I haven't seen anything that indicates that.  Is this based on something you know, or just a possible excuse that may or may not be true.

Fenring

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #114 on: May 15, 2019, 12:02:19 PM »
No reason to speculate.  If she was the one who forced the payment at that time, you have a point.  But I haven't seen anything that indicates that.  Is this based on something you know, or just a possible excuse that may or may not be true.

I'm not speculating! You're the one making a positive statement about what did happen. I have no clue!

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #115 on: May 15, 2019, 12:12:39 PM »
So on Stormy's timing, it was a case of trying to profit off the story, but happy to take an extortion payout instead.  You can easily find the details, she gave an interview in 2011 to InTouch that they never published (until after the election), and decided to shop the story after the Access Hollywood release.  As that apparently prompted her agent to decide it was a good time to shop it, the profit motive, rather than an ethical one seems clearly paramount.  And in fact, since she did agree to an NDA for a cash payment that's exactly what played out.

Of course, blackmail or extortion doesn't bother you.

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Lol, yes, makes total sense, let's enter into a non-disclosure agreement and wait a sec, how do you spell your name for the press release about our non-disclosure agreement?

To which I say, too bad.  :P  His stupidity is not an excuse to break the law.

There's no law requiring the public disclosure of an NDA.  Again, this case is a loser on campaign finance.  The John Edwards case was far far more egregious and it too was a loser.  There's absolutely no way to establish that a private payment, where the motive is mixed, was a technical violation of campaign financial laws, and it's already clear it's not a substantive one.  Campaign finance is about misapproriation of campaign resources, which is why candidates can spend in unlimited ways.

As I noted before, your read would make every haircut a candidate gets, every new suit, every single vanity item into a campaign expense, as they are all targetted at least in part at electability, and it's been clearly established by the actual cases that charging those to the campaign, whether or not disclosed, can trigger violations of the law.

Your read on this is self serving nonsense, not an accurate statement of how the law works or is intended to work.

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NDAs are legal.  Whether they should be is a different question.  With his background there's no legitimate way to separate his personal desire for an NDA from a political purpose, which makes treating it as a campaign expense highly questionable and paying for it from campaign funds probably a violation.

Define "legitimate."  He had years to make sure she signed an NDA.  During all that time, he apparently wasn't worried about her blabbing to his wife, etc.  But suddenly, just before the election, it becomes a serious personal issue, completely separate from his running for President?  What a coincidence!  ::)

She brought it up, see above.  Her agent saw that after the Access Hollywood release the information value now had a premium and they moved to market it.

I'm willing to bet there are other women out there that have slept with him that he's never reached out to.

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It certainly appears to be campaign related.

Lol.  By your "standard" everything is. 

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And, as I said before, what would prevent him from paying from his personal funds and declaring it a "campaign contribution?"  An in-kind contribution of sorts, where he didn't put money in the campaign, just reported the value that was used to be part of his campaign?  That seems to me to legally cover him.  And if it made the NDA useless, well, as I said before, not my problem. :)

So if a candidate pays for medicine for an illness, where disclosing the illness could hurt their campaign, even if it's not disqualifying, by your logic that too is a campaign finance violation.  If a candidate is in a fender bender and the other person says, lets settle this with a $500 payment and not involve the police or our insurance, that too is a campaign finance violation.

If a candidate, pays to have dentures so they can smile, that's a campaign finance violation.

You have no sense of perspective.

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Again, what you are seeking is not about the Rule of Law, its about the corruption of law for a political purpose.

No, what you're trying to do is excuse Trump from breaking the law.

What law is that?  There's no winnable case based on your misinterpretation, ergo not against the law, ergo not excusing breaking the law.

Wayward Son

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #116 on: May 15, 2019, 03:44:48 PM »
So on Stormy's timing, it was a case of trying to profit off the story, but happy to take an extortion payout instead.  You can easily find the details, she gave an interview in 2011 to InTouch that they never published (until after the election), and decided to shop the story after the Access Hollywood release.  As that apparently prompted her agent to decide it was a good time to shop it, the profit motive, rather than an ethical one seems clearly paramount.  And in fact, since she did agree to an NDA for a cash payment that's exactly what played out.

Of course, blackmail or extortion doesn't bother you.


Blackmail?  Extortion?  How can you blackmail or extort someone with public information??   ???

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The first reports of an alleged 2006 affair between Trump and Daniels ... were published in October 2011 by the blog The Dirty and the magazine Life & Style.  Around the same time, Daniels talked about the alleged affair with the gossip magazine In Touch Weekly, which chose not to publish the interview after Cohen threatened to sue the magazine.

Stormy's motivation is not in question here.  She was trying to make money on the story.  It's Trump's motivation that is salient.

If Trump was trying to prevent the story from becoming public knowledge to his loved ones, the cat was already out of the bag, and no NDA was going to stop it.

If Trump was trying to prevent the story from becoming widely known, an NDA would help.

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Lol, yes, makes total sense, let's enter into a non-disclosure agreement and wait a sec, how do you spell your name for the press release about our non-disclosure agreement?

To which I say, too bad.  :P  His stupidity is not an excuse to break the law.

There's no law requiring the public disclosure of an NDA.  Again, this case is a loser on campaign finance.  The John Edwards case was far far more egregious and it too was a loser.  There's absolutely no way to establish that a private payment, where the motive is mixed, was a technical violation of campaign financial laws, and it's already clear it's not a substantive one.  Campaign finance is about misapproriation of campaign resources, which is why candidates can spend in unlimited ways.

It's not just about misappropriation.  In this case, it was using funds for a campaign that were not reported as such, not using campaign funds for non-campaign purposes.  Or are you using "misappropriation" in a different way?

And if a case is a "loser," does that mean it is automatically legal and not breaking the law? ;)

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As I noted before, your read would make every haircut a candidate gets, every new suit, every single vanity item into a campaign expense, as they are all targeted at least in part at electability, and it's been clearly established by the actual cases that charging those to the campaign, whether or not disclosed, can trigger violations of the law.

If taken to the extreme, perhaps.  Taken to the opposite extreme, paying for hours of TV commercials advocating for a candidate is not a campaign contribution if they also plugged a specific brand of toothpaste at the end. :)  What makes you think paying off a woman to protect a campaign is the same as getting a haircut?

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Your read on this is self serving nonsense, not an accurate statement of how the law works or is intended to work.

I am no lawyer, so if you would like to explain how the laws which so many pundits were referring is not applicable in this case, I'm interested to hear it. 

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NDAs are legal.  Whether they should be is a different question.  With his background there's no legitimate way to separate his personal desire for an NDA from a political purpose, which makes treating it as a campaign expense highly questionable and paying for it from campaign funds probably a violation.

Define "legitimate."  He had years to make sure she signed an NDA.  During all that time, he apparently wasn't worried about her blabbing to his wife, etc.  But suddenly, just before the election, it becomes a serious personal issue, completely separate from his running for President?  What a coincidence!  ::)

She brought it up, see above.  Her agent saw that after the Access Hollywood release the information value now had a premium and they moved to market it.

I'm willing to bet there are other women out there that have slept with him that he's never reached out to.

Once again, her motivations are not salient to this.  Did Trump pay her off to protect his personal reputation, or to protect his campaign for President?

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It certainly appears to be campaign related.

Lol.  By your "standard" everything is.

Sounds like, by your standard, nothing is. ;)

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And, as I said before, what would prevent him from paying from his personal funds and declaring it a "campaign contribution?"  An in-kind contribution of sorts, where he didn't put money in the campaign, just reported the value that was used to be part of his campaign?  That seems to me to legally cover him.  And if it made the NDA useless, well, as I said before, not my problem. :)

So if a candidate pays for medicine for an illness, where disclosing the illness could hurt their campaign, even if it's not disqualifying, by your logic that too is a campaign finance violation.  If a candidate is in a fender bender and the other person says, lets settle this with a $500 payment and not involve the police or our insurance, that too is a campaign finance violation.

If a candidate, pays to have dentures so they can smile, that's a campaign finance violation.

You have no sense of perspective.

No, you're trying to make everything equivalent when they are not.  Just because paying off a fender-bender doesn't need to be reported does not imply that paying for TV commercials doesn't need to be, either, or paying someone a NDA doesn't need to be reported.

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Again, what you are seeking is not about the Rule of Law, its about the corruption of law for a political purpose.

No, what you're trying to do is excuse Trump from breaking the law.

What law is that?

From what I understand, the law says that contributions to a campaign must be reported, even non-monetary, "in-kind" contributions.  Trump made a contribution to his own campaign in the form of a NDA payment to Stormy.  He tried to hide it by various devious means and by out-and-out denial that he ever made it.  That appears to me to be someone trying to break the law and hide it.

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There's no winnable case based on your misinterpretation, ergo not against the law, ergo not excusing breaking the law.

Am I understanding you correctly?  That breaking the law is primarily determined by whether there is a "winnable case" or not?  That, in fact, if the case is not "winnable," is it automatically legal?   ???

Wayward Son

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #117 on: May 15, 2019, 03:52:52 PM »
No reason to speculate.  If she was the one who forced the payment at that time, you have a point.  But I haven't seen anything that indicates that.  Is this based on something you know, or just a possible excuse that may or may not be true.

I'm not speculating! You're the one making a positive statement about what did happen. I have no clue!

We know that she did not force Trump to pay her at that time.  Trump could have paid her anytime before the election is his purpose was to keep his loved ones from knowing about the affair.  Apparently, he didn't care until he was a candidate.  That's a pretty strong indication of motivation in my book.

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #118 on: May 15, 2019, 05:24:11 PM »
Stormy's motivation is not in question here.  She was trying to make money on the story.  It's Trump's motivation that is salient.

That's on you since you implied it made a difference whether the timing was set by Trump or Daniels, and the answer was Daniels.

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If Trump was trying to prevent the story from becoming public knowledge to his loved ones, the cat was already out of the bag, and no NDA was going to stop it.

Without open confirmation, or if Daniels denied it publically (which is also not illegal), it would help.  Ergo, moot.

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It's not just about misappropriation.  In this case, it was using funds for a campaign that were not reported as such, not using campaign funds for non-campaign purposes.  Or are you using "misappropriation" in a different way?

Personal funds are not inherently campaign funds, ergo they can not be "misappropriated" for a non-campaign use.

It would have been a misuse to use actual campaign funds for this.

Moreover, it's fundamentally not why we have campaign finance laws to prevent or force the disclosure of personal expenses paid for with personal money. 

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And if a case is a "loser," does that mean it is automatically legal and not breaking the law? ;)

Yes.  If a case is unwinnable because it's a nonsense claim, it means the conduct is not breaking the law.

Just like if I tried to convict you of murder because you cut down an oak tree.  The case would be nonsensical, even if the point of the murder laws is to stop unlawful killings, and it was unlawful to kill the oak tree.

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If taken to the extreme, perhaps.  Taken to the opposite extreme, paying for hours of TV commercials advocating for a candidate is not a campaign contribution if they also plugged a specific brand of toothpaste at the end. :) 

You are already close to the ridiculous extreme.  Again, you seem not to understand that you want to treat conduct it would not be legal to pay for out of campaign funds - and that a candidate would therefore be required to pay for out of pocket - as a campaign expense solely to force it to be disclosed.  There's no world in which that makes real sense.

Putting commercials on tv to advertise reruns of the apprentice was not a campaign contribution either.

Or if you want to get real, what about all the misleading and free support that flows through Hollywood.  I mean, even if you discount the opinion spewers on the news channels, you still have things like Hollywood basing characters on specific politicians - I mean hello "Madame Secretary."   Did they disclose that contribution? 

Not every thing in the world is intended to be covered by any convenient legal theory.  The laws you are talking about are specifically designed to prevent the misuse of contributions by others, not to limit what a candidate can spend on themselves.  The interpretation of "mixed use" items has consistently been to be skeptical of treating them as campaign expenses specifically because the misappropriation of those funds is what the law was written to stop.  Turning the entire history of the law, its purpose and its enforcement on its head to try and  manufacture a legal problem when a candidate pays for a personal expense with personal funds is an abusive joke.

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What makes you think paying off a woman to protect a campaign is the same as getting a haircut?

Just a difference of scale under your theory.

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I am no lawyer, so if you would like to explain how the laws which so many pundits were referring is not applicable in this case, I'm interested to hear it.

You're clearly not listening. 

Quit listening to pundits.  They love to assert bizarre interpretations to create a headline.

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Once again, her motivations are not salient to this.  Did Trump pay her off to protect his personal reputation, or to protect his campaign for President?

Or for both reasons, or for neither reasons, or for a dozen.  To win this case you'd have to prove it was the sole reason (actually prove it) and even then it's still most likely a loser.

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Sounds like, by your standard, nothing is. ;)

Does it?  Maybe actually spend some time learning about campaign expenses and come back to me.

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No, you're trying to make everything equivalent when they are not.  Just because paying off a fender-bender doesn't need to be reported does not imply that paying for TV commercials doesn't need to be, either, or paying someone a NDA doesn't need to be reported.

Then describe the legal/logical theory that separates them.  You know what people actually do when they are trying to make an argument.

You don't have history on your side, no one's been found to have violated these rules on this basis, if fact worse cases have lost at trial and been derided.

You don't have purpose on your side, it's not why the law was written.

You don't have logic on your side if something like settling a car accident to keep it off a police blotter isn't covered and you can't differentiate why it's been considered a violation to use campaign funds to buy clothes to go to an event.

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From what I understand, the law says that contributions to a campaign must be reported, even non-monetary, "in-kind" contributions.  Trump made a contribution to his own campaign in the form of a NDA payment to Stormy.

Except, there's no reasonable basis to think that was a campaign contribution.  Show any case where such has been found to be so in the past, and differentiate the Edwards case, and then come back to me.

You don't get to make up a fact.

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He tried to hide it by various devious means and by out-and-out denial that he ever made it.  That appears to me to be someone trying to break the law and hide it.

That appears to me to be someone hiding legal conduct that it was legal to hide.

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Am I understanding you correctly?  That breaking the law is primarily determined by whether there is a "winnable case" or not?  That, in fact, if the case is not "winnable," is it automatically legal?   ???

It's like we're debating global warming and you just keep repeating that the Earth isn't getting hotter cause your fridge is making ice. 

What exactly do you think law is?  There's no conduct here that's an actual campaign finance violation.  It's only by an absurd, aggressive, never held up before and actually found to be a loser version an interpretation that you can make the claim.  So yes, in this case, the fact that this is not a winnable case is evidence that this is not illegal conduct.