There are key differences, but the case against Trump is a close cousin of the failed campaign-finance prosecution against John Edwards for payments to his mistress.

In that case, two former FEC chairmen said they would have advised Edwards that the payments weren’t campaign expenditures.

The ethics outfit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a brief opposing the prosecution and noting some of the same absurdities that the case against Trump raises. If any payments to maintain a candidate’s image are legitimate campaign expenditures, can a candidate who wants to present himself as a family man pay for child care with campaign funds?

With Trump, in the absence of evidence of something like Russia collusion, his opponents will work with whatever material they have, no matter how tawdry or removed from the alleged offense that got the investigative ball rolling.