(USA Features) Former President Donald Trump praised the Federal Election Commission after the agency announced it was dropping a case against him involving alleged ‘hush’ payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
The decision exonerated him from the 2016 campaign controversy in which he was accused of allegedly accepting an illegal contribution of $130,000 just before election day to pay off Daniels and buy her silence for an alleged sexual relationship in 2006.
The commission’s three Republicans deadlocked with the panel’s three Democrats, the latter of whom wanted to continue pursuing the allegations, effectively quashing the matter.
In a plea deal, Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, admitted making an “unlawful” contribution to Trump’s 2016 campaign that were reportedly used to set up the payments. He was ultimately sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay $1.39 million in restitution.
Earlier, the commission’s non-partisan legal team claimed there was enough evidence to suggest Cohen, Trump, and the Trump campaign accepted and failed to report illegal campaign contributions.
The Trump campaign argued that the payments to Daniels were not campaign-related, thus there was no violation of campaign law.
In a statement posted to his new communications platform Friday, Trump praised the FEC’s decision and blasted Cohen and Daniels’s former attorney, Michael Avenatti, who has since been convicted of felony extortion against apparel giant Nike and is expected to be sentenced this month.
“It was a case built on lies from Michael Cohen, a corrupt and convicted lawyer, a lawyer in fact who was so corrupt he was sentenced to three years in jail for lying to Congress and many other things having nothing to do with me,” Trump said in his statement.
“I thank the Commission for their decision, ending this chapter of Fake News. Between two sleazebag lawyers, Michael Avenatti and Michael Cohen, we were all able to witness law and justice in our Country at its lowest!” Trump added.