President Donald Trump disclosed reimbursement payment last year of more than $100,000 to his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, in financial documents released Wednesday.
The disclosure, released Wednesday by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, did not elaborate on what the money was for, beyond expenses. However, the payment was made for work Cohen did in 2016, the same year the attorney paid adult film star $130,000 in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter she had with Trump years earlier.
"In 2016, expenses were incurred by one of Donald J. Trump's attorneys, Michael Cohen," a footnote on page 45 of the 92-page disclosure document reads. "Mr. Cohen sought reimbursement of those expenses and Mr. Trump fully reimbursed Mr. Cohen in 2017.”
The documents show Trump paid Cohen between $100,001 and $250,000. Daniels, who was born Stephanie Clifford, was paid $130,000 by Cohen after she signed a nondisclosure agreement barring her from talking about her alleged affair with the future president.
She has since sued to break the agreement, claiming that it is invalid because it was never signed by Trump.
Former New York Mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani told Fox News earlier this month that the president reimbursed Cohen for the payment, but he insisted that the funds did not come from the campaign. Critics have questioned whether the payment could be considered an illegal in-kind campaign contribution.
The president acknowledged for the first time last month that Cohen represented him “with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal” after weeks of telling reporters that he had no knowledge of the payment to the adult film actress.
“Michael would represent me … on some things,” Trump told “Fox and Friends” in April. “He represents me — like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal, he represented me.”
Cohen filed notice last month that he would not answer questions in Daniels' case seeking to end the nondisclosure agreement, exercising his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
After FBI raid, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to take the Fifth in Stormy Daniels lawsuit https://t.co/QsAK3Ol2lA pic.twitter.com/lAmxSby9tv— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) April 26, 2018
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