- Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s new lead attorney, told Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro that Trump did not violate campaign finance laws.
- Giuliani has been cleaning up previous comments he made about the hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in October 2016.
- Giuliani said the $US130,000 payment to Daniels would have been made regardless of whether Trump was running for president at the time.
Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s new lead attorney, repeated on Saturday that Trump’s reimbursement for a $US130,000 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels did not violate campaign finance laws.
Giuliani told Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro in an interview Saturday evening that he was “still learning” the facts of the case, but that he was an expert on campaign finance law and knew that Trump had not made a violation.
Giuliani’s latest interview comes after he released a statement on Friday attempting to clean up explosive revelations he had made about Trump’s reimbursement of his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who had paid Daniels in October 2016 to stay quiet about the affair she says she had with Trump a decade ago.
Giuliani had suggested on Thursday that Cohen’s payment to Daniels was linked to Trump’s candidacy, raising questions about whether it violated campaign finance laws stipulating that an individual can give up to $US2,700 to a candidate or a campaign in an election. Experts have said that such a payment could be considered an in-kind political contribution and could thus be a violation.
“Imagine if that came out on October 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton,” Giuliani said on Thursday. “Cohen didn’t even ask. Cohen made it go away. He didn’t even ask.”
But Giuliani later backtracked and said the payment would have been made regardless of whether Trump was in the midst of a presidential campaign.
“There is no campaign violation. The payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the President’s family,” Giuliani said in a statement on Friday. “It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not.”
When asked by Pirro on Saturday whether he misspoke or was misinterpreted in earlier interviews, Giuliani cited the vast amount of documents and facts he was still catching up on.
“This is, you know, 1.2 million documents. I’ve been in the case for two weeks. Virtually one day, in comparison to other people. So I’m not an expert on the facts, yet. I’m getting there,” Giuliani said. “The fact is there is no way this is a campaign finance violation of any kind, nor was it a loan. It was an expenditure.”
He added: “Even if it was a campaign donation, the president reimbursed it fully with a payment of $US35,000 a month that paid for that and other expenses. No need to go beyond that. Case over.”
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