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Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer, says he paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of own pocket

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The latest twist in the tangled tale of what happened between President Donald Trump and an adult film star more than a decade ago has taken a new turn Tuesday, with Trump’s longtime personal lawyer claiming that he paid the porn star $130,000 out of his own pocket.

Michael Cohen, the lawyer who worked for Trump for over a decade, said in a statement obtained by Fox News that the 2016 transaction with Stomy Daniels was lawful and not a campaign contribution or campaign expenditure “by anyone.”

“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” the statement read.

stormy cohen

Both Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels have denied reports of a ‘hush money’ payoff.

 (AP)

Trump met Stephanie Clifford, who goes by the name Stormy Daniels in films, at a golf event in 2006 — a year after Trump’s marriage to his wife, Melania. According to The Wall Street Journal’s report, Clifford began talking with ABC News in the fall of 2016 for a story involving an alleged relationship with Trump, but reached a $130,000 deal a month before the election, which prevented her from going public.

File- This May 6, 2009, shows Stormy Daniels visiting a local restaurant in downtown New Orleans. A tabloid magazine held back from publishing Daniels  2011 account of an alleged affair with Donald Trump after the future president's personal lawyer threatened to sue, four former employees of the tabloid's publisher told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Bill Haber, File)

Stormy Daniels seen in 2009. Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, said he paid her $130,000 out of his own pocket.

 (AP)

The New York Times first reported on Cohen’s payment. The paper said Cohen refused to answer follow-up questions like whether or not Trump knew about the payment.

Cohen told the paper that he had delivered a similar statement to the Federal Election Commission in response to a complaint filed by Common Cause, a government watchdog. The watchdog asked the FEC to investigate the source of the payment and determine whether it represented an excessive campaign contribution.

He called the allegations “without merit” and said he does not plan “to provide any further comment on the FEC matter.”

Fox News’ Ed Henry, Edmund DeMarche and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Boris: Covid won't stop me going for 'Red Wall' seats

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BORIS Johnson has vowed to not let the coronavirus pandemic get in the way of his plans to transform the forgotten parts of Britain.

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Trump SCOTUS pick Amy Coney Barrett’s past critiques on Obamacare face scrutiny

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WASHINGTON — Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s expected Supreme Court nominee whose appointment could cement a conservative court majority for a generation, is on record criticizing past jurisprudence upholding the Affordable Care Act.

In a 2017 Notre Dame Law School article, Barrett quoted from the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who protested 2012 and 2015 rulings upholding core provisions of the law and lamented that Obamacare should be renamed “SCOTUScare.”

Barrett’s scholarly writings are giving fuel to Democratic arguments that her appointment could upend health coverage for 20 million Americans. They provide her opponents with a paper trail of comments on the politically salient health care law which they lacked with Trump’s prior Court nominees Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.

“For Justice Scalia and those who share his commitment to uphold text, the measure of a court is its fair-minded application of the rule of law, which means going where the law leads. By this measure, it is illegitimate for the Court to distort either the Constitution or a statute to achieve what it deems a preferable result,” Barrett wrote in the January 2017 article.

Regarding a 2012 ruling upholding the law’s individual mandate by a 5 to 4 margin, Barrett also criticized Chief Justice John Roberts, saying he had “pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute.”

Barrett would be Trump’s third appointment to the nation’s highest court; and with Republicans in control of the Senate, Democrats say they are clear-eyed about their limited procedural options for halting the appointment, which would come weeks — if not days — before an election Trump is already saying he expects to be decided by the Supreme Court.

With the nation experiencing a pandemic that’s already claimed 200,000 lives and left at least 6 million with potential COVID-related “pre-existing” conditions, Democrats are focusing on health care to persuade voters that Barrett’s appointment will have a direct impact on their lives, with a new lawsuit led by Texas, and supported by the Trump administration, coming before the Supreme Court on November 10.

Some legal scholars say Barrett’s past writings indicate sympathy for prior challenges to Obamacare, but don’t reveal how she’d rule in the upcoming case, which hinges on a different legal question.

Jonathan Adler, a professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and an architect of the 2015 legal challenge to ACA subsidies, said Barrett’s passage evoking “SCOTUScare” was “a fairly straightforward description of the Scalia dissent.”

“Given her embrace of textualism, it might be fair to suggest she found his opinion more convincing than the majority,” he said. “The second indicates some disapproval for the Chief Justice’s NFIB opinion and its stretching of the text.”

But Adler said that wouldn’t be inconsistent with believing the pending Texas case should fail.

“Neither tells us much of anything about her views of the current ACA suit, however, as many of us who thought Roberts was wrong in NFIB, and that Scalia was correct in King, believe that Texas should lose the current case,” he said in an email.

Nicholas Bagley, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School and a critic of recent ACA litigation, said that Barrett’s article suggests she would’ve sided with Scalia in the 2012 case, but said it “doesn’t tell us anything about how she’d rule in a case that’s significantly weaker.”

Still, Bagley warned not to discount the legal danger Obamacare faces after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who voted in the majority in both cases involving the law.

“I think ACA supporters should be concerned,” he said in an email. “Not panicked: the lawsuit is weak and the Supreme Court is unlikely to endorse it. But a small risk of a bad thing is worth worrying about.”

Republicans have failed to undo the ACA legislatively, despite controlling Congress and White House for two years of Trump’s administration, and haven’t offered a replacement if the lawsuit succeeds.

“Where is that Republican substitute bill?” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked in a Judiciary Committee hearing this week.

Demand Justice, a progressive group that plans to spend as much as $10 million to build opposition to Barrett’s nomination, released an ad Friday warning that if Barrett “were on the Supreme Court, millions of Americans could lose their health insurance.”

A Senate Republican aide familiar with the nomination process said it’s a “fool’s errand to predict how judges will rule” on particular cases, such as the ACA lawsuit, after they’re confirmed. The aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, indicated that Barrett is likely to address the issue during the process.

As a candidate, Trump criticized Chief Justice John Roberts for voting to uphold the ACA, tweeting: “My judicial appointments will do the right thing, unlike Bush’s appointee John Roberts on Obamacare.”

“We should be rightly concerned that he’s going to keep his word,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee said during a Thursday hearing.



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National Trust should SAY SORRY: MPs demand funding cut after Winston Churchill smear

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AN INFLUENTIAL group of Conservative MPs has demanded that the Government cuts off funding to the National Trust until it apologises for “smearing the name” of Winston Churchill and other British heroes.

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