The media are currently full of articles, like this one saying that D.J. Trump could be in trouble for not disclosing payments to Stormy Daniels.

Without getting into details of who did or did not do what, what are the (legal) consequences if he is shown to have filled a knowingly inaccurate and misleading financial disclosure form? None of the articles say.

  • 6
    Hmmm, I am actually interested in both the political and legal consequences, but can't ask the same question twice. Can you help me to rephrase it? E.g, the political consequences might be impeachment, or withdrawal of some political privilege, which has further political ramifications ...
    – Mawg
    May 16, 2018 at 9:23
  • 1
    there's no concept of "withdrawal of political privilege" in US politics (unless you mean some sort of fines for finance campaign violations, but that is 100% legal question). And impeachment was already extensively covered on this site in existing answers (TL:DR: "doesn't matter what President did or didn't do. Impeachment is whatever Congress decides is worth impeaching for, as a political decision)
    – user4012
    May 16, 2018 at 9:35
  • 6
    @Mawg No, the President is the President until he is impeached or leaves office for some other reason. May 16, 2018 at 13:29
  • 2
    Other articles explicitly contradict you view and state that any debt of over 10k during the period must be declared, even if already repaid
    – Mawg
    May 16, 2018 at 15:48
  • 2
    @user4012, Conflating verdict and crime is inexact. Impunity has consequences.
    – agc
    May 18, 2018 at 11:42

1 Answer 1


To answer your specific question--and not opine on the conclusions of the WaPo reporter whether the details of President Trump's civil matter factually warrant such a claim-- the Federal Election Commission has a FAQ page that contains answers on penalties. It reads:

What penalties can the FEC impose for violations of the law? Most violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) result in civil penalties--fines arrived at through a conciliation process. Knowing and willful violations of certain FECA provisions can lead to imprisonment. The FEC has exclusive civil enforcement authority, and may refer criminal violations to the U.S. Department of Justice. For additional information see our page describing the complaint process. Note that sentencing guidelines for criminal violations of the law are set by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

If this was a filing error, it most certainly would fall under the Administrative Fines Program Criminal violations are reserved for matters like embezzlement.

  • There is difference between "a filing error" and "[filing] a knowingly inaccurate and misleading financial disclosure form."
    – SJuan76
    Jun 4, 2018 at 11:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .