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TIME: The New Cohen Recording Doesn't Alone Incriminate President Trump, Experts Say

“I just think it again affirms what we filed in our complaint; that it sounds like Donald Trump knew about the hush money payment to McDougal before the election,” said Common Cause Chief of Strategy and External Affairs Stephen Spaulding. “I just think this is more of another log on the fire that these are campaign finance violations and that the thread continues to unravel.”

Reuters: U.S. pays Trump's Scotland golf resort $77,000 ahead of visit

“This is part of a pattern with this president of really doing everything he can to disgrace the office of the presidency by promoting his own private business interests,” said Stephen Spaulding, a lawyer with the public interest group Common Cause.

Money & Influence 07.17.2018

Vox: The government is making it easier for “dark money” donors to go unnamed

“Large amounts of foreign national donations to a politically active nonprofit could be a red flag to IRS staff that could trigger greater scrutiny,” Paul S. Ryan, vice president at the watchdog group Common Cause said. “But such red flags will no longer be visible to IRS staff. President Trump’s Treasury Department has struck a blow to US democracy with this rule change.”

ABC News: Watchdog groups press embattled EPA chief Pruitt for transparency on legal defense fund

“There remains no record of the operations and fundraising of your legal defense fund,” the letter said. “If a legal defense fund is not carefully set up and administered, there are many ways the Fund may run afoul of executive branch ethics rules. Given the large number of ethics scandals now under investigation at the EPA, further scandals should be avoided by you and the agency.”

New York Times: Candidate for Georgia Governor Bought Condo From Lobbyist

Sara Henderson, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, a government watchdog group, said that such cozy relationships raised suspicions of pay-to-play. “Lobbyists and elected officials should never be involved in business deals together,” she said. “It gives the impression that the lobbyist and their interests will find favor with that official when it comes to awarding contracts and determining public policy that might financially benefit them.”

Money & Influence 06.14.2018

Reuters: New York sues Trump, his foundation, over 'self-dealing'

Paul S. Ryan, head of litigation at Common Cause, a nonpartisan watchdog group in Washington, said the New York filing provides details of actions that could also violate a federal ban on campaigns funneling “soft money” through nonprofits. “This involvement of the Trump campaign in the foundation’s disbursements right before the Iowa caucuses may very well violate the campaign finance law soft money ban,” Ryan said in an interview.

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