Two Democrats from the Federal Election Commission are criticizing Republican members after the commission decided not to punish former President Donald Trump over a payment to Stormy Daniels.
The FEC vote split 2-2 on party lines, with one member not voting and one abstaining.
The vote was taken last month, but the results and statements became public for the first time Thursday.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is an adult movie actress who claimed to have a relationship with Trump.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer, arranged a nondisclosure agreement for which he paid Daniels $130,000, a campaign contribution violation for which he pleaded guilty. Prosecutors said the payment was made at Trump’s direction.
Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 for this and other crimes.
Commission members voted on whether or not to take action against Trump’s campaign for the payment
The Republicans on the committee said that since Cohen has been punished, “pursuing these matters further was not the best use of agency resources.”
The FEC Democrats slammed the decision, saying, “To conclude that a payment, made 13 days before Election Day to hush up a suddenly newsworthy 10-year-old story, was not campaign-related, without so much as conducting an investigation, defies reality.”