Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Trump Should Have Disclosed Daniels Payment, Ethics Office Says

Ronan Farrow reveals to Rachel Maddow how he was able to obtain Michael Cohen's confidential financial records A law enforcement official came forward as the person who leaked Michael Cohen's financial information last week
Melinda Barton | 16 May, 2018, 23:20

President Donald Trump's disclosure that he "reimbursed" personal attorney Michael Cohen for as much as $250,000 previous year comes in a footnote to his financial disclosure report. "Leaves DOJ no choice but to open at least a preliminary investigation into Trump for false statements (if he wasn't already a subject in the Cohen inquiry, which he might be)".

The agency's former director Walter Shaub has argued this week Trump must disclose whether he held debts exceeding $10,000 - including his debt to Cohen for the hush money payment - or risk breaking federal law.

Cohen has admitted to having paid $130,000 to the adult film actress, Stephanie Clifford ― also known as Stormy Daniels ― after she went public about an affair that she claims to have had with Trump.

Apol's agency released Trump's 2018 disclosure on Wednesday.

Trump's disclosure includes all of 2017 and part of 2018. A footnote in tiny type on page 45 of the 92 page document says the president "fully reimbursed" Cohen for "expenses" ranging from $100,001 to $250,000. The reimbursement was paid in full in 2017, and Cohen had requested the money for expenses incurred in 2016.

The ethics office is a government watchdog that provides oversight of the executive branch programme created to prevent and resolve conflicts of interest.

Trump's latest form said the reimbursement was being reported "in the interest of transparency", though it did not have to be disclosed as a reportable liability.

In April, Trump told reporters he did not know anything about the payment.

Rudy Giuliani, who recently began providing legal representation for Trump, said in a Fox News interview earlier this month that Trump reimbursed Cohen.

Cohen has publicly acknowledged paying Daniels, saying he obtained the cash through a line of credit on his home.