Former Playboy model Karen McDougal may have settled her case with National Enquirer owner American Media, Inc., but the evidence that the initial payment to her from the publisher violated campaign finance laws get stronger almost daily. Today, Free Speech For People filed an amended complaint at the Federal Election Commission to reflect the stunning new evidence that has come to light since we first filed on February 16, 2018.
New evidence links the lawyer representing Ms. McDougal in the negotiations with American Media, Inc., Keith Davidson, to the President’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. In fact, it is now clear that Mr. Davidson reported the news of the agreement to Mr. Cohen almost immediately after the deal had been concluded. Before this information became public, it was unclear whether Mr. Trump or his associates had known about the payment at the time. The communications with Mr. Cohen make it highly likely that the Trump campaign knew of the payments and deliberately chose not to report them to the Federal Election Commission as required by law.
In March, Ms. McDougal filed suit against American Media, Inc. in response to the company’s alleged threats to ruin her financially if she spoke about the agreement or her relationship with Mr. Trump. Her complaint alleged, among other things, that her agreement with American Media, Inc. violated campaign finance law. Shortly afterwards, the FBI raided Michael Cohen’s office, apartment, and hotel in search of documents including those related to the McDougal payments.
Now American Media, Inc. has agreed to release its rights to Ms. McDougal’s life story, but American Media, Inc. already got what it paid for–her silence during a critical time in the presidential election. The FBI is on the case, but the Federal Election Commission also has an obligation to investigate.