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LostInParadise's avatar

Why would Mueller want more information about Stormy Daniels?

Asked by LostInParadise (29005points) April 11th, 2018

What additional information could he get from Michael Cohen’s office that would be of interest? Trump probably authorized the payment for a non-disclosure agreement. So what? It is not illegal to have such an agreement. Trump is certainly lying about not having had an affair with her. Who cares? Is that the worst thing that they can get on him?

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17 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Where did the $130,000 come from? If it came from an election fund, the law was broken! If additional laws were broken and Michael Cohen guided or as a lawyer advised Trump to break the law both can be convicted.
The paying off of a personal debt using election funding is strictly prohibited.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Isn’t Trump a millionaire? Where did the $130,000 come from? Where do you think?

marinelife's avatar

He doesn’t. That’s why he referred it to the State Attorney for New York in whose jurisdiction it is.

elbanditoroso's avatar

It isn’t Stormy Daniels per se – it’s a pattern of fraud and paying off witnesses or participants in an attempt to subvert justice.

This isn’t about two women claiming they were paid to keep their mouths shut. It’s about Trump’s hit man (Cohen) acting in fraudulent and likely illegal ways suborn the legal process.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It’s all about the money otherwise the attorney-client privelage clause would have prevented this from happening from my understanding. You cannot use election funds for any payments not related to the campaign per Ethics Commission I believe.

stanleybmanly's avatar

There is also the argument that money dished out to smother damaging information in the midst of a political campaign is in fact a political contribution. If the bribe exceeds the $2700? limit it is illegal.

Yellowdog's avatar

This probably IS the worst they can get on Trump. There is probably nothing to it, but they are hoping to find other crimes in the investigation. Most wealthy people of his stature and many politicians have many crimes you can pin on them, and many ways of making them stretch to prison time, especially if you can find something, ANYTHING, you can justify as inconsistent in the story

They were hoping to find something on collusion with Russia. So many of you were expecting that Trump would be impeached and imprisoned by this time last year. But I expect they WILL find something.

The one exception is Hillary Clinton. There are too many crimes she committed to even count or untangle. But she was given a blanket pass on all of them, because no reasonable prosecutor would indite her, in their view, because she didn’t know they were crimes

Since we know what they are doing, the real question is, where is Attorney General Jeff Sessions in all of this? He did recuse himself on the Russia investigation But this isn’t the Russia investigation (well, it IS, but this has nothing to do with Russian interference or collusion). Rosenstein (who was appointed by Sessions) and in turn Mueller, are WELL beyond the bounds of what they are appointed or allowed to do. The authority belongs, not to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein but to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

But no one is enforcing this—it seems Rosenstein has usurped the authority of Jeff Sessions, the most incompetent, self-inflicted lame-duck Attorney General in recent history.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Yellowdog – you asked “where is Jeff Sessions in all this” – with the assumption that the Cohen/Daniels/sex cases are in some way separate from the Russia stuff. You are implying that they are distinct cases and that Sessions should have some role.

I think you’re wrong.

I think that Cohen is waist deep in the Russia stuff as well as the women issues. They’re all part of pattern of illegal activity – Russia is just another aspect of the entire cloud of Trump illegality, and Cohen is right in the middle.

My guess is that Sessions knows that, too.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Sessions may indeed be inept, but had competence enough to understand that his participation in junkets cozying up to Russian kleptocrats compelled him to recuse himself from any investigation involving said Russians. His recusal was probably the most astute decision in Session’s entire career, and clearly the only move circumventing his inclusion in the parade of Trump bigwig forced resignations. And again, the fact that Trump was furious at Sessions for removing himself from any possibility of shielding the Don from investigative heat, illustrates the appalling fact that Trump is IGNORANT of the BASIC functions and operations of the government he allegedly heads. And those mistaking the fact that Trump is still in office as proof that Mueller has nothing on him don’t seem to get the BIG picture, as the indictments churn out like peaches from a cannery. It is clear that Mueller is saving our boy for the grand finale, and it will be a spectacular show indeed.

rojo's avatar

Mueller isn’t looking for anything in this particular affair. Mueller didn’t request the warrant, the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York did. Mueller just passed on information they had come across about a possible crime. Of course, if they come up with anything of interest to him I am sure they will return the favor.

Yellowdog's avatar

Well, at least Trump’s close friendship with Putin has kept the U.S. and Russia in one accord. We never will have to worry about Russia, or its activity in Syria, Iraq, or North Korea.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Obama was wealthy and in that position. They couldn’t find any crime to pin on him @Yellowdog.

I think the whole thing is like a Venn diagram. They are two different cases. The Stormy Daniels thing is mostly outside of Mudller’s focus on Russia, but if they find what I think they’ve found that proof will be thrown in the pot. I think. Or maybe a different attorney will try it.

@KNOWITALL Attorney / client privilege doesn’t apply. It only prevents the attorney from disclosing damning information about his client. It doesn’t prevent search warrants and raids.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III It’s just unusual the way this one happened, but I read this article which explained it rather well, I thought.

Although it is unusual for the Justice Department to seek a lawyer’s materials, the United States attorneys’ manual contains procedures for how to get both subpoenas and search warrants in such cases. It tells investigators to exhaust all other ways of obtaining evidence first “to avoid impinging on valid attorney-client relationships.” It also encourages them to use a subpoena if possible. But it also acknowledges that sometimes a search warrant may be justified, even though it is more intrusive, such as if there is reason to believe the recipient would destroy the evidence rather than turn it over.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good article.

”...the search warrant for Mr. Cohen’s office was “not going to happen unless they feel that they have to, and they think they have something that is really serious going on.”

“I would say that for any law-office search warrant,” he continued, “but we just happen to be talking about a lawyer for the president of the United States.”

Trump is getting his Depends changed as we speak.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That is a good question. Why would his attorney be dumb enough to pay it out of an election fund when there are plenty of other places to get that chump change from?

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Dutchess_III – no one said that Trump or his cronies are mental geniuses, or even good lawyers.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Trump is stupid. I don’t think his lawyers are. But maybe. For a lawyer though, that would be a kindergarten mistake.

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