U.S.

Payment for Trump Love Child Story Was Illegal Campaign Contribution, Watchdog Alleges in FEC, Justice Department Complaint

The reported $30,000 payment American Media Inc. made for a rumored story about President Donald Trump fathering an illegitimate child in the 1980s was an illegal campaign contribution, a government watchdog said in complaints filed to the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department on Thursday.

Grassroots organization Common Cause claimed the hefty sum the publisher of the National Enquirer gave to former Trump World Tower doorman Dino Sajudin for the rumor violated contribution limits and contribution reporting requirements.

The complaint filed with the FEC, charged with regulating campaign finance, accused Trump, his campaign and American Media, while the Justice Department complaint was addressed to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

“We have laws to ensure disclose of who is funding presidential campaigns to protect the integrity of our democratic process,” Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn said in a press release. “The president and his team seem to have repeatedly chosen to ignore campaign finance laws in an attempt to bury scandals related to the then-candidate’s extramarital affairs. We are encouraged that the DOJ is vigorously investigating the allegations outlined in Common Cause’s complaints related to earlier reports of hush money payments on behalf of Donald Trump and his campaign.” 

Common Cause asserted the payment to Sajudin was intended to influence the 2016 presidential election and that Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, coordinated the effort. The deal with Sajudin was agreed to in November 2015 when Trump was campaigning for president.

GettyImages-945356948 President Donald Trump participates in a meeting on trade with governors and members of Congress at the White House on April 12. Getty Images/Chris Kleponis

The Associated Press and The New Yorker each published detailed reports Thursday about the payment. Cohen told the AP he had spoken with the National Enquirer about Sajudin’s claim but was serving as Trump’s spokesman. He also denied knowledge of the payment.

Sajudin was reportedly trying to sell a rumor he claimed to have heard about Trump impregnating another Trump World Tower employee, who later gave birth to his child.

The names of the mother and child have not been released and no reports have been able to confirm the rumor.

American Media has been accused of buying up stories about Trump and then never publishing them in order to protect the president. In August 2016, the company also dished out $150,000 to former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal after she claimed to have had a nine-month-long affair with Trump between 2006 and 2007.

Cohen has been accused of protecting Trump by purchasing silence. The $130,000 he paid to adult actress Stormy Daniels less than two weeks before 2016’s general election was also the subject of complaints made to the FEC and Justice by Common Cause in January.

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