President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen went to prison for violating campaign finance laws on Trump's behalf when he paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels over $100 thousand to keep silent about an alleged affair with Donald Trump in the early 2000s.
Now, some suspect the Trump campaign—in collaboration with the Republican National Committee—is once again using its deep pockets to keep Trump's secrets at bay.
The reason for suspicion in 2020 lies with Chuck LaBella, the former talent producer who worked on Trump's famous reality show, The Apprentice.
Records indicate that the RNC has made over a dozen payments to LaBella totaling over $60 thousand. According to the Daily Beast, it's the first time on record that LaBella has been paid by any political committee.
According to RNC spokesperson Mandi Merritt, his work is standard planning for the party's upcoming convention:
"Chuck LaBella is consulting on a variety of efforts for convention, including talent, production, stage design, and media consulting. It's incredibly common for large scale events such as these to receive consulting from those with backgrounds in the entertainment industry and to suggest anything other than that is not only flat on wrong, but offensive and misleading."
For years, The Apprentice contestant-turned-Trump-critic Tom Arnold has claimed that there are damning outtakes of Trump on the show's set, using slurs and being generally unpresidential. According to Arnold, LaBella has all of these tapes.
Chuck LaBella was there & knows all. https://t.co/4OspLhrHu7— Tom Arnold (@Tom Arnold)1508213335.0
Arnold didn't seem surprised at LaBella's affiliation with the RNC.
Chuck LaBella. .of course https://t.co/shAwqM7i9X— Tom Arnold (@Tom Arnold)1593668101.0
Some suspect that something's afoot with the Republican National Committee's payments.
@lachlan @samstein They hire everyone who might be trouble to supposedly work in his campaign. It’s what they do.— GiseleD (@GiseleD)1593658741.0
@lachlan @jwgop @samstein Trump alone is the Swamp— Elisheva (@Elisheva)1593656449.0
@lachlan @ewong @samstein Oh geez, just throw it in the bribery pile.— Navi Rose🇨🇦🇺🇸🇬🇧 (@Navi Rose🇨🇦🇺🇸🇬🇧)1593655402.0
@lachlan @SpiroAgnewGhost @samstein It’s this anything like the payments that went to Stormy Daniels?— Susan Gross (@Susan Gross)1593657339.0
@lachlan @mehdirhasan @samstein So is this another campaign finance violation?— Dawn supports Kamala! (@Dawn supports Kamala!)1593657174.0
Others think $66 thousand is too measly a sum to indicate real dirt—and that any revelations wouldn't change the mind of Trump's supporters anyway.
@lachlan @samstein Waste of money and effort. Everyone knows enough about the character defects he displayed during… https://t.co/aX8cqRSh5W— bill cozzo - @🏡 - BLACK LIVES MATTER (@bill cozzo - @🏡 - BLACK LIVES MATTER)1593688582.0
@lachlan @samstein If I was LaBella and had that dirt I would not be satisfied with half of what Stormy Daniels got four years later.— josh buermann (@josh buermann)1593670027.0
@lachlan @NoahShachtman @samstein He's only made $66k off them? I'm poor but even I know $66k is nothing if he real… https://t.co/GJ60FIFeLz— Peyton (@Peyton)1593686873.0
@lachlan @samstein How does more dirt even matter at this point? We know who he is. What we know should be damning… https://t.co/vIOKFi8pYJ— Mickey11 (@Mickey11)1593689035.0
@lachlan @DonotInnovate @samstein Not sure there is any dirt on Trump that would make a difference - especially to… https://t.co/MLKngxG0PI— William Luddy (@William Luddy)1593662635.0
Any tapes from The Apprentice are likely barred from release due to non-disclosure agreements.