Political professionals and even the Washington Post are making it clear that Diamond and Silk did not do anything wrong in their testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, and the Trump campaign did not do anything willfully wrong, and clearly Diamond and Silk are not guilty of perjury.
Diamond and Silk have put forth evidence that their one-time-only “payment” from the Trump campaign was, in fact, a re-imbursement from Laura Trump for a plane ticket on a flight to Ohio as part of the Women For Trump initiative, which Diamond and Silk were invited to participate with. So Diamond and Silk did not perjure themselves when they said they did not receive payment from the Trump campaign.
The amount was a piddling $1,274.94. But Democrarts are trying to whip up a perjury charge. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat, set Diamond and Silk up for the accusation during his questioning, asking the pair if they were aware that they were under oath before pulling out the FEC report.
But political professionals know that the campaign could easily re-file that part of the FEC report to portray clearly what actually happened, absolving Diamond and Silk.
Even the establishment Washington Post’s Philip Bump clears the dynamic duo of any perjury charge, writing:
“There are two categories that cover money coming into and flowing out of a campaign: Contributions and disbursements. Contributions are donations from PACs, individuals or the candidate, including in-kind contributions (like Clooney covering his own cab fare to that barbecue). Disbursements are payments from the campaign to vendors or staff, including reimbursements. They are payments by the campaign, but that doesn’t mean that the recipients necessarily feel that they’ve been paid by the campaign.
The problem is that the pair paid for their own tickets at first. Had the campaign bought the tickets, there would have been no issue. But once Diamond and Silk were reimbursed by the campaign for the tickets, it had to be reported. (Had they covered the cost themselves, they could have spent $1,000 each without having to report it as a contribution to the campaign.) Of course, being flown somewhere to appear at an event is a non-monetary form of payment to the talent by itself, but, again, the word “paid” is vague enough to allow for a lot of interpretation…
It’s worth noting that the perjury charges mentioned by Jeffries almost certainly don’t apply in a case like this one because they necessitate having “knowingly and willfully” made a false or fraudulent statement. Hardaway and Richardson made clear that they didn’t believe that their statements were untrue.”
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