The watchdog group Common Cause on Monday filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department alleging that a payment made to an adult film star to ensure her silence about a sexual encounter with Donald Trump violated campaign finance law.
The actress, Stephanie Clifford, known Stormy Daniels in the industry, reportedly accepted $130,000 in hush money from an LLC established by Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, in October 2016. The Wall Street Journal, in two reports, based its reporting on unnamed people familiar with the matter.
Cohen — and Clifford, according to a statement from her provided to the Journal by Cohen — denied that the sexual encounter had taken place. But In Touch magazine, following the Journal’s first report, published a lengthy 2011 interview with Clifford in which she describes the encounter at length.
In a letter accompanying the complaint Monday, Common Cause’s vice president for policy and litigation, Paul S. Ryan, asserted that the reported hush money “was an unreported in-kind contribution to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., and an unreported expenditure by the committee — because the funds were paid for the purpose of influencing the 2016 president general election — in violation of the campaign finance reporting requirements” required by law.
Read Common Cause’s complain below: