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- The Michael Cohen and John Edwards cases are connected by the Loews Regency Hotel in Manhattan.
- Cohen had a hotel room at the venue, which was raided by the FBI last week.
- It’s also where Edwards began his affair with Rielle Hunter.
- Both cases are often compared to each other.
There is a striking coincidence between the investigation into President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen and the case against former Democratic Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina – and it involves the Loews Regency Hotel in Manhattan.
The Loews Regency Hotel happens to hold a distinction of being both a part of the Cohen raid last week, where the lawyer’s hotel room was raided by the FBI, and the location where Edwards began his affair with Rielle Hunter, the mistress who was paid by some of Edwards’s supporters in the lead up to the 2008 election.
The two cases are often compared because they both involved the criminal examination of payments to mistresses in connection with a presidential candidate. In Edwards’s case, the Justice Department took him all the way to trial over the payments to Hunter. Edwards was prosecuted on six counts, one of which he was acquitted on, while the jury was hung on the other five, resulting in a mistrial. The case was not brought back forward.
In that case, a central focus was whether outside spending to conceal an affair constituted a campaign expenditure. Edwards’s defense argued that the payments were made to keep the information from Edwards’s wife, not from the voting public.
Cohen, meanwhile, facilitated a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels just weeks before the 2016 presidential election. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, alleged she had an affair with Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in 2006. Cohen paid her to keep quiet about the alleged affair.
Investigators are reportedly looking into whether Cohen committed bank fraud or violated campaign finance law, which appeared to stem from the Daniels payment.
As one expert told Business Insider, Cohen’s defense is likely to make a similar argument as Edwards’s defense when it comes to possible campaign finance violations. The expert, Paul S. Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at Common Cause, said the Justice Department’s case against Cohen is “much stronger” than the case against Edwards, which he said was “rightly” prosecuted.