Former President Donald Trump issued a public statement following the Federal Election Commission’s dropping of an investigation against him.
The case concerned Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen’s alleged U.S. $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels.
It dealt with whether Trump instructed Cohen to pay the given sum so that Daniels would not speak about sexual encounters with the famous billionaire, thus damaging his prospects for the 2016 general election.
In a statement published on Friday, Trump reiterated that the ‘phony case’ against him was dropped.
He described the case as a fabrication made by Cohen, an immensely corrupt lawyer who ended up being sentenced to three years in prison for multiple wrongdoings.
The crimes Cohen was convicted for involved campaign-related financial violations, tax evasion, and lying to Congress.
Trump expressed his gratefulness to the Commission’s decision, adding that the law and justice in the U.S. felt ‘at its lowest’ due to the activities of ‘sleazebag’ lawyers such as Michael Cohen and Michael Avenatti.
Cohen, on the other hand, expressed his dissatisfaction with the investigation outcome.
He tweeted that Trump should have been found guilty because ‘the hush money payment’ was made under his guidance.
Former Trump’s attorney described the Commission’s decision as ‘confounding.’
Reaching the tie
The investigation before the Federal Election Commission was dropped because the vote reached a 2-2 tie.
Predictably, two Republican commissioners voted to close the case, while two Democrats, Shana M. Broussard and Ellen L. Weintraub, voted for the investigation to continue.
The Commission consists of two additional members, one from each party.
Both of these members, however, were not present during the vote.
The Democratic Commissioner was absent while the Republican was recused.
The Democratic Commissioners who voted against the investigation closure issued their separate statement.
They declared there is ample evidence that showed how Trump took part in illegal financial activities.
The Commissioners cited Cohen’s testimony as a court’s sufficient reason to believe that Trump directed the payment.
Broussard and Weintraub underscored that it would be contrary to common sense to conclude that making the payment to Daniels just 13 days before the election was not in any way related to the presidential campaign.
The Republican Commissioners, on the other hand, stated that they voted for the closure as taking the investigation any further would unnecessarily sap the Commission’s resources.
They emphasized that closing the investigations after Commission’s interests were satisfied presents a common practice.