Trump’s longtime lawyer says he paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket

Michael D. Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, said Tuesday that he paid US$130,000 out of his own pocket to a pornographic-film actress who had once claimed to have had an affair with Trump.

In the most detailed explanation of the 2016 payment made to the actress, Stephanie Clifford, Cohen, who worked as a counsel to the Trump Organization for more than a decade, said he was not reimbursed for the payment.

“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Cohen said in a statement to The New York Times. “The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”

He declined to answer several follow-up questions, including whether Trump had been aware that he made the payment, why he made the payment or whether he had made similar payments to other people over the years.

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, steps out of a cab during his arrival on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.

Cohen has previously said that Trump has denied an affair with Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels.

Cohen’s statement about what he called “a private transaction” was the first time that he has acknowledged a role in the payment, which was first reported in January by The Wall Street Journal.

Cohen said that he had given a similar statement to the Federal Election Commission in response to a complaint filed by the government watchdog group Common Cause, which filed a complaint saying that the payment, which was made through a limited liability company that Cohen established, was an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign.

Officials with Common Cause also sought to determine whether the payment was made by the Trump Organization or another person.

“The complaint alleges that I somehow violated campaign finance laws by facilitating an excess, in-kind contribution,” Cohen said in his statement. “The allegations in the complaint are factually unsupported and without legal merit, and my counsel has submitted a response to the FEC.”

He said he would not make any additional comments about the commission complaint “or regarding Ms. Clifford.”

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Cohen was among …read more

Source:: Nationalpost

      

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