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Does Giuliani's bombshell prove that Trump violated campaign finance laws?

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks to reporters at Trump Tower, January 12, 2017 in New York City. President-elect Trump continues to hold meetings Trump Tower. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks to reporters at Trump Tower, January 12, 2017 in New York City. President-elect Trump continues to hold meetings Trump Tower.

In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Wednesday night, Trump’s new attorney Rudy Giuliani disclosed that Trump reimbursed his personal attorney for the $130,000 payout to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Wednesday night, Trump’s new attorney Rudy Giuliani disclosed that Trump reimbursed his personal attorney for the $130,000 payout to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Trump had previously said he didn’t know about the payment. Giuliani said the payout was not campaign money and therefore “perfectly legal,” but the admission is raising new legal questions about the president’s potential violation of campaign finance laws.

Among the factors at play: the timing of the payout, which was in October of 2016, right before the election, whether Michael Cohen made an unreported contribution or a loan to Trump’s campaign, Trump’s level of knowledge about the payout and its intent.

It’s unclear whether Giuliani’s disclosure was part of a planned legal strategy, but it may very well change the legal conversation. We discuss with campaign finance and election law experts.

Guests:

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, campaign finance law expert and associate professor of law at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida

Derek Muller, associate professor of law at Pepperdine, where his focus includes election law, and the role of states in elections; he tweets

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