A nonpartisan watchdog group has filed complaints against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I’d only rejoin Pacific trade pact if deal was ‘substantially better’GOP unveils mock cover of Comey book with ‘ego’ attackNY Daily News cover hits Trump over Comey book revelations MORE, his campaign and the publisher of the National Enquirer, alleging that they violated campaign finance laws over a payment made to squash a rumor about Trump.
Common Cause filed complaints with the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission after The Associated Press reported that American Media Inc. (AMI) had paid a former Trump doorman $30,000 for a rumor that Trump had a child with a housekeeper at one of his properties.
The group claims that the payment to the doorman was made to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, and was therefore an illegal in-kind payment to Trump’s campaign.
The complaints also allege that the campaign didn’t report the payment as either a contribution or an expenditure as required under campaign finance law.
“The president and his team seem to have repeatedly chosen to ignore campaign finance laws in an attempt to bury scandals related to the then-candidate’s extramarital affairs,” Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause, said in a statement.
The AP reported that the publisher paid a former Trump doorman, Dino Sajudin, $30,000 for the rights “in perpetuity” for the unverified rumor about Trump’s alleged affair and child with a housekeeper at one of his buildings.
However, the company decided not to run the story after determining it wasn’t true.
Sajudin stood by his claim in a statement Thursday, saying that he wasn’t allowed to criticize a housekeeper because she had a child with Trump.
His ex-wife of 14 years also cast doubt on Sajudin’s account, saying that her former husband is a “pathological liar.”
The new report on AMI comes after former Playboy model Karen McDougal sued the publisher in order to break her silence about an alleged affair she had with Trump.
AMI had paid her $150,000 for the story about the affair but withheld it from publication, according to The New York Times.
McDougal claims that she was misled by AMI and her lawyers about the agreement.