Of Campaign Violations and Congressional Sex Slush Funds

By | 2018-09-13T23:26:42+00:00 September 14th, 2018|
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We were promised, guaranteed, assured by the Left, Democrats, and their propagandists in the mainstream media that there would be proof of Trump-Russia collusion from the 2016 elections. But as it’s hard to turn fairy tales into facts, not much has materialized over the course of nearly two years.

Sure, there are charges against Paul Manafort related to crimes that largely occurred before Donald Trump rode down the golden escalator and declared his intention to run for office. The alleged campaign finance violations by Michael Cohen go along with his own bank fraud and tax evasion problems. And there are the process crimes of Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos (who just received a grand total of 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI).

But this is hardly the bombshell that we were promised, a scandal so massive it would engulf and consume the fledgling Trump presidency. Instead, now we’re talking about bank fraud, tax evasion, and the minutiae of what constitutes a campaign finance violation.

Among the other charges brought against him, Michael Cohen, President Trump’s long-time lawyer, pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws by paying off two women who claim to have had sexual relations with Donald Trump. Cohen stated these payments were done “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” namely, then-candidate Trump. Yet the prosecutors and pundits are likely to be disappointed, again. This is unlikely to travel beyond Michael Cohen. Their promised bombshell is little more than a sad fizzle.

The closest thing we have to a precedent in this situation is the case of John Edwards. In 2008, Edwards directed his campaign finance chairman to spend lavishly to support Edwards’ baby mama mistress, hoping to buy her silence during the election. The payments amounted to nearly $1 million, but the Justice Department eventually dropped its case that these constituted illegal campaign contributions in 2012 after a jury deadlocked and failed to convict Edwards on any charge. There were zero FEC violations and no one was convicted on even one count of anything at all—an outcome the Left cheered at the time. All of which is amusing to reflect upon when one hears the same ignorant people screaming about Trump and Cohen and felonies and crimes and unindicted co-conspirators.

But all of this talk about what constitutes, or doesn’t constitute, a campaign finance violation, brings up a topic that many seem to have forgotten about: the congressional sex slush fund financed unwittingly by American taxpayers.

Almost a year ago, we learned that Congress keeps a secret stash of taxpayer money members could use to pay off staffers they have sexually harassed or assaulted. Now, it’s one thing, albeit a wildly inappropriate thing, for consenting adults in the workplace to have an affair. But this matter of a taxpayer-financed slush fund to facilitate such deeds needs to be investigated, and investigated now. Congress has paid more than $17 million since 1997 to protect members from the accusations of their staffs.

These congressmen—Republicans and Democrats—are using our tax dollars to pay off people they have harassed or assaulted, and they’re doing it for a reason: such naughtiness might actually be detrimental to their reelection campaigns, therefore silence must be secured.

So how are those payments—again, with our tax dollars—not considered campaign contributions when in fact they are explicitly designated for the purpose of helping avoid any embarrassing facts being used against members of Congress during their campaigns?

While I sincerely doubt any of this absurd talk about Trump using his own money to pay off women will go anywhere, I certainly would hope that an investigation into congressional misbehavior and misuse of our monies does happen and that it would pull back the veil on every violator, Republican and Democrat.

Since it has been almost a year, and Congress appears conveniently to be mute on this topic, perhaps an independent commission could investigate and help us understand what has been taking place over the past 20 years or so. More important, the American people should be repaid: every dollar spent through this congressional sex slush fund should be reimbursed from the violators’ campaigns or better yet, from their own pockets.

With its silence on this subject, the ruling class is trying to protect itself yet again. This is swamp behavior at its worst, but that doesn’t mean we have to tolerate it.

About the Author:

Ned Ryun
Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority. You can find him on Twitter @nedryun.