Trump Discloses He Repaid Cohen More Than $100,000, Ethics Office Asks Justice Dept. To Investigate
Trump Reimbursed Cohen At Least $100,000
According to The New York Times, Trump paid the money in 2017 “as reimbursement for payment to a third-party,” and the form did not specify the amount of the payment but said it was somewhere between $100,001 and $250,000. The form said the interest rate for the reimbursement was zero.
The Office of Government Ethics — which disclosed the form — did not state the specific purpose of Trump’s payment to Cohen. Nevertheless, the reimbursement could relate to Cohen’s payment of $130,000 in hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels, with whom Trump had an affair in 2006.
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, a member of Trump’s legal team, recently said in an interview on Fox News that Trump was aware of Cohen’s payment to Daniels and that he repaid his attorney the $130,000 in installments. Giuliani’s comments received great attention mainly because they directly contradicted statements Trump made to reporters on Air Force One in early April. Trump was reportedly frustrated by Giuliani’s remarks and said the former prosecutor would soon “get his facts straight” about the story involving Daniels. Giuliani recently resigned from his law firm.
Cohen is under investigation for the payment, and in April pleaded the Fifth Amendment after Daniels sued him and Trump for defamation. Trump’s longtime attorney’s home, hotel room and office were raided by the FBI on April for documents pertaining to the payment.
Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti wrote on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon that the president’s disclosure “proves that the American people were deceived” by Cohen, Trump, Giuliani and others.
Mr. Trump’s disclosure today conclusively proves that the American people were deceived by Mr. Cohen, Mr. Trump, Mr. Schwartz, the WH, and Mr. Giuliani. This was NOT an accident and it was not isolated. Cover-ups should always matter. #Basta
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) May 16, 2018
The ethics office’s acting director David Apol stated in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that “the payment made by Mr. Cohen [to Daniels] is required to be reported as a liability.”