Turley: $130K Payment to Stormy Daniels Looks Like What Led to John Edwards' Indictment
President Trump and his team scored an apparent legal victory against Stormy Daniels on Thursday when a federal judge denied Daniels' motion seeking to depose Trump and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen in the case over the adult film star's non-disclosure agreement.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, wanted Trump to answer questions about their alleged 2006 affair and wanted Cohen to discuss the purported hush agreement he struck with her.
Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University Law School professor, said this development does not significantly alter the case, and the president's legal woes may be far from over.
He said Cohen's attorney, David Schwartz, declared on Wednesday that Trump was never aware of the final details of the agreement negotiated for him by Cohen, or possibly even the agreement as a whole.
"That's going to create serious problems, because that would make it sound like he's not a party to this agreement," Turley said.
He explained that Cohen's $130,000 payment to Daniels resembles the type of “in-kind” campaign finance violations that led to the indictment of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. In that case, third parties paid money to Edwards’ mistress in the midst of the 2008 presidential campaign.
"I've never believed that collusion represented a threat to President Trump. This can. And people should not underestimate it," Turley said. "The problem with what was said by Mr. Schwartz last night -- when he said that Trump didn't really have any knowledge of this -- it makes that $130,000 that Cohen paid out of his own account look like an 'in-kind' campaign contribution. That's what Edwards was indicted for."
"The problem for President Trump is that this could metastasize from a civil to a criminal matter. He doesn't want that to happen. And I have to tell you, he doesn't want that to happen with Michael Cohen as lead counsel."
Watch the segment above, and see more from Turley on the president's potential legal jeopardy.