It could take a year or longer for the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to determine whether President Donald Trump’s lawyer violated campaign finance laws in paying porn actress $130,000 just before the 2016 election, NBC reported Monday evening.
According to former officials and sources close to the FEC who spoke with NBC, the office is understaffed and is still working on cases from the 2015-16 election cycle. One former FEC chairman Trevor Potter told NBC it would be “impossible” for the commission to finish by the end of year.
Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid porn actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 just 11 days before the 2016 election. Daniels claims she was given the money as a hush payment to keep quiet about her alleged sexual affair with Trump in 2006. She also signed a non-disclosure agreement. Cohen has admitted to making the payment, but said he made it out of his own volition and Trump was unaware of it.
In January, a watchdog group filed a complaint with the FEC and the Justice Department to investigate the payment. It could be considered a violation of campaign finance laws if it’s determined that the money was used to benefit Trump’s campaign, given it exceeds the maximum amount allowed for campaign contributions.