Trump Discloses He Reimbursed Michael Cohen For Up To $250,000 In 2017

Donald Trump has officially disclosed – via a footnote in tiny print buried in his newly released financial records – that he reimbursed his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for up to $250,000 in 2017.

The exact reason for the payment is not given, beyond being stated as covering “expenses”, but came in the aftermath of Cohen paying $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged affair with Trump a decade before he became president.

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The revelation on Wednesday came as part of the president’s annual financial disclosure, submitted to the US Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

The document stated: “In the interest of transparency, while not required to be disclosed as ‘reportable liabilities’ on part 8, in 2016 expenses were incurred by one of Donald J Trump’s attorneys, Michael Cohen.”

The statement is a footnote on page 45 of the 92-page disclosure, in tiny print, and goes on to say: “Mr Cohen sought reimbursement of those expenses and Mr Trump fully reimbursed Mr Cohen in 2017.” It declares that the value of the payment ranged from $100,000 to $250,000.

Ethics experts had been watching closely for the document to see if Trump would confirm that he paid Cohen back for the lawyer’s outlay – concerned that if the president did not he would be in breach of ethics laws.

Rudy Giuliani, the high-profile new name on Trump’s legal team, mentioned in a bombshell revelation on Fox TV earlier this month that Trump had reimbursed Cohen for paying Daniels, a point which the president had expressly denied when earlier asked about it by reporters aboard Air Force One.

Trump then acknowledged, via Twitter, the substance of Giuliani’s assertion, which prompted 48 hours of contradictory follow-ups by both Giuliani and the White House about what Trump knew and when he might have known it, about any payments. The week culminated in Stormy Daniels’ lawyer predicting Trump would end up being forced to resign. Trump denies the alleged affair with Daniels, who has said she prefers using her stage name to her real name of Stephanie Clifford.

Walter Shaub, the former director of the OGE, and Adav Noti, senior director for the Campaign Legal Center watchdog group, wrote in an opinion article for USA Today earlier this week that Trump was legally obliged to include the payment in the latest disclosure and should have done so in the previous filing that he submitted last year.

The government added its own footnote to the 2018 disclosure, saying: “OGE has concluded that the information related to the payment made by Mr Cohen is required to be reported and that the information provided meets the disclosure requirement for a reportable liability.”

The footnote about the Cohen payment appears in a report giving the first extended look at Trump’s income from his properties since he became president. Among his holdings, he took in $25m from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

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Trump Discloses He Reimbursed Michael Cohen For Up To $250,000 In 2017

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Trump Discloses He Reimbursed Michael Cohen For Up To $250,000 In 2017

Trump Discloses He Reimbursed Michael Cohen For Up To $250,000 In 2017

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Trump Discloses He Reimbursed Michael Cohen For Up To $250,000 In 2017

Trump Discloses He Reimbursed Michael Cohen For Up To $250,000 In 2017

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Trump Discloses He Reimbursed Michael Cohen For Up To $250,000 In 2017

Trump Discloses He Reimbursed Michael Cohen For Up To $250,000 In 2017

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Trump Discloses He Reimbursed Michael Cohen For Up To $250,000 In 2017