Center for American Progress

Cohen’s Slush Fund is Not Business as Usual—But Business as Usual Needs to Change
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Cohen’s Slush Fund is Not Business as Usual—But Business as Usual Needs to Change

Authors Alex Tausanovitch and Diana Pilipenko discuss the Trump administration's unusually corrupt pattern of behavior and Congress' failure to curb pay-to-play politics.

President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, sold his access to the president to multinational corporations, including one reportedly controlled by a Russian oligarch, and deposited the proceeds into a secret slush fund—the same slush fund he used to pay Stephanie Clifford (a.k.a. Stormy Daniels) to keep silent about an alleged affair with Trump.

Some commentators have said that at least part of this—the “selling access” part—is business as usual in the nation’s capital. (One D.C. morning newsletter introduced the Cohen story with the sensational heading “WELCOME TO THE REALITY OF WASHINGTON.”) And until more is known about how the money was solicited and used, it is also difficult to determine which aspects, if any, of Cohen’s activities actually constitute criminal behavior.

The above excerpt was originally published in Just Security. Click here to view the full article.

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Authors

Alex Tausanovitch

Director, Campaign Finance and Electoral Reform

Diana Pilipenko

Associate Director, Anti-Corruption and Illicit Finance