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Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:36 PM

Would the $130,000 given to Stormy Daniels not be considered a bribe?

I realize most bribes are to officials and maybe policemen to change their opinion about something or to forget something. But it can also be coercion to keep someone quiet. For instance if stormy Daniel said you pay me $130,000 and I'll keep my mouth shut. That would be a bribe. Otherwise the offering of the money without Stormy Daniels asking could be considered a bribe to her and she would be accepting that bribe.

Am I wrong here? Could it be considered bribery as opposed to hush money or could it be both.

28 replies, 1280 views

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Reply Would the $130,000 given to Stormy Daniels not be considered a bribe? (Original post)
Lint Head Feb 2018 OP
TreasonousBastard Feb 2018 #1
jberryhill Feb 2018 #2
Amishman Feb 2018 #20
jberryhill Feb 2018 #21
imanamerican63 Feb 2018 #3
Liberal In Texas Feb 2018 #4
angrychair Feb 2018 #5
louis-t Feb 2018 #16
Iggo Feb 2018 #19
marylandblue Feb 2018 #27
louis-t Feb 2018 #28
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 2018 #6
Liberal In Texas Feb 2018 #7
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 2018 #10
PoliticAverse Feb 2018 #8
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 2018 #9
VMA131Marine Feb 2018 #12
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 2018 #13
onenote Feb 2018 #22
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 2018 #23
onenote Feb 2018 #24
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 2018 #25
onenote Feb 2018 #26
procon Feb 2018 #11
Gothmog Feb 2018 #14
Yavin4 Feb 2018 #15
gibraltar72 Feb 2018 #17
The_Casual_Observer Feb 2018 #18

Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:40 PM

1. I am not a lawyer, but I would assume that it was either a gift or there was...

some sort of value received.

So, if it was not a gift, what was the value received?

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Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:43 PM

2. No it is not a bribe


A bribe is a payment to a public official to perform (or not to perform) an act in their capacity as an official.

People enter into non-disclosure agreements for various reasons all of the time.

The overall context of this transaction raises a variety of issues - but the notion of "paying someone not to say something" without more is not illegal.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 02:45 PM

20. This, it's not a bribe by definition but that still doesn't make it OK

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Response to Amishman (Reply #20)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 03:56 PM

21. Yes, but that's not the point


There are plenty of things wrong here, but it is not "bribery", which is the question in the OP. It is likewise not "arson" or "kidnapping". Words have meanings.

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Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:44 PM

3. It is HUSH HUSH money!

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Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:44 PM

4. I would assume hush money and a bribe are the same thing.

hush money:
A bribe paid to keep something secret, as in No amount of hush money will keep that scandal from coming out. [c. 1700 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary

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Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:45 PM

5. No, best case is its for services as an escort

They paid here for her services and had her sign an NDA.

The payment is the crime though: it’s an “in-kind” contribution in excess of campaign contribution limits (it benefited the candidate) the trick is making the connection between the payment and benefit as a candidate.
While they indicated John Edwards for the same act, that direct connection campaign benefit was harder to prove and Edwards was not convicted.

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Response to angrychair (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:49 PM

16. His lawyer now claims she was paid by him.

But I bet he was reimbursed from campaign funds or inaugural funds.

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Response to louis-t (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 02:23 PM

19. Yikes!

It already smelled like a conspiracy. But now it also looks like one!

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Response to louis-t (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 04:41 PM

27. Probably not in a traceable way

He likely gets a huge retainer. What he does with that money is his own business.

I heard he doesn't really do much work for Trump and they only met once or twice a long time ago.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #27)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 07:25 PM

28. Nobody really wants to work for him once they realize

they won't get paid.

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Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:46 PM

6. The word you're looking for is "blackmail."

I'll use it in a sentence:

The White House is currently occupied by someone is not just susceptible to blackmail; he already has been subjected to blackmail. Further, he complied with the request of the blackmailer rather than let the truth be exposed.

So the threat of blackmail is not just theoretical; it is actual. It has already occurred.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:48 PM

7. If she solicited the money, it would be blackmail

If they gave her the money to keep her mouth shut, it's a bribe.

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Response to Liberal In Texas (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:57 PM

10. Hmm. Okay, maybe not blackmail. Thanks. NT

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Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:51 PM

8. If someone threatens to tell everyone something embarrassing about you unless you pay them money....

that would actually be the crime of extortion. That's what happened to David Letterman.

See:
http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/david-letterman-admits-sexual-affairs-staffers-details-extortion/story?id=8728424

Now if someone is going to tell someone something embarrassing about you and you offer them something to make them change their mind, well that's different (and can be called "hush money" ).

Now if the offer of "hush money" is to make someone testify under oath falsely, that would be illegal but if it just to cause someone not to go on a talk show and "tell all" about you that's probably just a gift (be sure to pay your gift tax on any especially large cash gift - and consult your attorney and tax professional).

Note though as others have mentioned if any "hush money" involved a political campaign that opens a whole new legal area involving possible illegal campaign contributions/expenditures.










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Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:51 PM

9. It's not a bribe.

The legal definition of a bribe is money or some other thing of value intended to influence a person holding a public or legal duty, typically a politician or police officer. The payment to Stormy Daniels was hush money. If she had demanded it to keep from talking, it's extortion or blackmail. To me, the bigger question is where the money really came from. Cohen said, quite carefully: “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.” In other words, he wasn't reimbursed by the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign - but that doesn't mean he wasn't reimbursed by someone else. Trump himself? Jared? Don Jr.? Some PAC? He says he paid it out of his own pocket, but who put that money in his pocket in the first place? Is it a gift for tax purposes? If so, who'd pay the tax?

Many questions...

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:06 PM

12. In some sense, Cohen was used to "launder" the payment between Trump and Daniels

Cohen paid Daniels through the Delaware LLC
Somewhere down the line Cohen makes up some bogus line items on one of his invoices to Trump that conveniently add up to $130,000
No direct connection

I'm still not sure why the LLC was needed.

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Response to VMA131Marine (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:28 PM

13. That's what Cohen does. His work for the Trump Org has always been

to engineer, disguise or hide dodgy financial transactions.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 04:22 PM

22. There are a lot of questions

But it wouldn't trigger payment of the "gift tax". While it would exceed the annual gift tax exemption, it would not trigger payment of any "gift tax" unless the amount over the annual exemption, when added to other gifts given over and above the annual exemption, exceeds the lifetime gift tax exemption, which is around $5.4 million. It would, however, require that the amount over the annual exemption be reported on a gift tax form.

Of course, that assumes the IRS would treat the payment as a gift to someone. It's not a gift to Daniels, obviously. Is it a gift to Trump? Arguably so, but I suspect a good tax lawyer would have arguments as to why it's not a gift.

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Response to onenote (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 04:25 PM

23. That's true; actual payment of the tax wouldn't be triggered by the gift,

if that's what it is, but it would eventually have to be accounted for on someone's estate taxes, someday. Maybe Trump's? Maybe soon?

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #23)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 04:29 PM

24. If it had to be accounted for on anyone's estate taxes, it would be Cohen's

Gifts are taxable to the recipient. And if this actually was a payment by Trump to Daniels, it wasn't a gift.

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Response to onenote (Reply #24)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 04:34 PM

25. Unless someone first gave the money to Trump, which is what I was assuming,

because Trump never gives money to anybody. My theory is that the money came from somewhere else, and was either given to Trump or to Cohen for Trump's benefit, and Cohen and the shell corporation were just conduits.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #25)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 04:38 PM

26. Could be. Somehow I doubt we'll ever know.

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Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:06 PM

11. IOKIYAR It's OK if you're a Republican. nt

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Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:43 PM

14. This payment is a violation of the campaign finance laws

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Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 01:44 PM

15. No. It's payment for services rendered.

Along with a bonus for going above and beyond.

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Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 02:16 PM

17. My you have a nasty dirty mind

Just a humanitarian gesture for someone down on her luck. Would be my guess.

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Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 02:16 PM

18. Trump put himself in a situation where he was blackmailed.

He is a very dumb and irresponsible man. He does stupid things and gets bailed out constantly.

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