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NBC News Interviews Trevor Potter: FEC Ruling on Stormy Daniels Payment Could Take a Year or Longer

March 26, 2018, NBC News

Current and former Federal Election Commission officials tell NBC News it could take a year or longer for the FEC to address the case of whether Trump Organization lawyer Michael Cohen’s $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels represents an unreported in-kind, contribution to the Trump campaign.

. . .

Since the payment far exceeds the maximum allowed for direct campaign contributions, it could be deemed illegal if it was meant to benefit the president’s election bid. The watchdog group Common Cause filed a complaint earlier this year, requesting that the FEC and the Department of Justice investigate the matter.

But Trevor Potter, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, said the process won't be speedy.

“I think it is almost impossible for FEC to finish by the end of year,” Potter told NBC News.

Former FEC Commissioner Ann Ravel agrees.

“The FEC is understaffed primarily in the enforcement division. So it does have an impact on the ability to aggressively enforce matters and bring them up before the commission in a timely fashion,” Ravel said.

Both Potter and Ravel point to another reason why FEC investigations are often delayed — partisan gridlock among commission members.

“The commission has deadlocked, split between Democrats and Republicans, on almost every issue in the last eight years. I don’t think the FEC will resolve this. There’s a possibility that the DOJ could step in if they thought this was worth directly investigating,” Potter said.

Mr. Potter also leads Caplin & Drysdale’s Political Law Group in Washington, D.C.

For the full interview, please visit NBC News’ website.

Excerpt taken from the article “FEC Ruling on Stormy Daniels Payment Could Take a Year or Longer” by Geoff Bennett and Kristen Welker for NBC News.

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