Trump Discloses Cohen Payment, Raising New Legal Questions - NECN
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

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Trump Discloses Cohen Payment, Raising New Legal Questions

One of Trump's attorneys, Rudy Giuliani, revealed earlier this month that Trump repaid Cohen for a hush money payment of $130,000 to Daniels

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    Trump Discloses Cohen Payment, Raising New Legal Questions
    Getty Images, File
    Attorney Michael Cohen (L) and President Trump (R)

    President Donald Trump revealed in his financial disclosure Wednesday that he reimbursed personal attorney Michael Cohen as much as $250,000 for unspecified "expenses," with no mention of a $130,000 payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about a sexual tryst she said they had.

    The head of the nation's ethics office questioned why Trump didn't include this in his previous year's sworn disclosure and passed along his concerns to federal prosecutors.

    "I am providing both reports to you because you may find the disclosure relevant to any inquiry you may be pursuing," David Apol, acting director of the Office of Government Ethics, wrote to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

    Apol wrote that he considers Trump's payment to Cohen to be a repayment on a loan and that it was required to be included in Trump's June 2017 disclosure.

    Trump Unaware of Stormy Daniels Payment: Giuliani

    [NATL] Trump Unaware of Stormy Daniels Payment: Giuliani

    Bombshell revelations from President Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, may place the president and personal lawyer Michael Cohen further into the crosshairs of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Giuliani said he disclosed the president's payments to Cohen on Fox News to avoid having the information leaked later by federal investigators.

    (Published Friday, May 4, 2018)

    But Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani told Fox News Channel's Laura Ingraham that he didn't think the repayment "had to be disclosed at all because I think it was an expenditure that he reimbursed."

    He also said the president was "fully aware" of his decision to reveal the fact that Trump had reimbursed Cohen in a previous Fox News appearance and "endorsed the strategy."

    "We wouldn't do it without him," Giuliani said on "The Ingraham Angle." ''He's the client, after all, and has tremendous judgment about things like this. And I think it — that the OGE, the Office of Government Ethics, basically agreed with us that it had been fully disclosed."

    "The fact is that the president disclosed everything that he could disclose. He can't disclose more than he knows. And we're very comfortable with it," he added.

    But ethics experts say that if that payment was knowingly and willfully left out, Trump could be in violation of federal ethics laws.

    "This is a big deal and unprecedented. No president has been previously subject to any referral by (Office of Government Ethics) to DOJ as a result of having failed to report an item on their public financial disclosure report," said Virginia Canter, a former ethics official in the Clinton and Obama White Houses who is now with the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

    Lawyer: Names on Bank Transactions are Other Michael Cohens

    [NATL] Cohen's Lawyer Says Names on Bank Transactions are Other Michael Cohens
    Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is calling into question part of a report released by Stormy Daniels' attorney about Cohen's alleged banking transactions. Cohen's attorney said some of the transactions attributed to Cohen were actually tied to other people with the same name, in a court filing Wednesday.
    (Published Thursday, May 10, 2018)

    How Trump dealt with the Daniels hush money in his disclosure has been closely watched, particularly after Giuliani gave interviews earlier this month saying the president had reimbursed Cohen in a series of payments after the campaign was over. Trump and Giuliani have clashed over what the president knew and when he knew it.

    In a footnote in tiny type on Page 45 of his 92-page disclosure, Trump said he reimbursed Cohen for "expenses" ranging from $100,001 to $250,000. The report said the president did not have to disclose the payment but was doing so "in the interest of transparency."

    While the disclosure didn't specify the purpose of the payment, Cohen has said he paid $130,000 to Daniels in the weeks before the 2016 presidential election to keep her from going public about her allegations that she had sex with the married Trump in 2006.

    Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, tweeted, "Mr. Trump's disclosure today conclusively proves that the American people were deceived."

    The tweet continued: "This was NOT an accident and it was not isolated. Cover-ups should always matter."

    The Trump Organization referred questions about the disclosure report to the president's lawyer Sheri Dillon of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Dillon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

    'Late Night': A Closer Look at Cohen Pay-to-Play Allegations

    [NATL] 'Late Night': A Closer Look at Cohen's Pay-to-Play Allegations

    Seth Meyers takes a closer look at the White House dealing with new revelations involving the president's fixer, Michael Cohen, and questions about its cruel policy of separating immigrant families.

    (Published Tuesday, May 15, 2018)

    The Cohen footnote appears in a report giving the first extended look at Trump's revenue from his properties since he became president. In all, Trump's vast array of assets — hotels, resorts, books, licensing deals and other business ventures — generated revenue last year of at least $453 million. The report estimated the holdings are worth at least $1.4 billion.

    His Washington, D.C., hotel near the Oval Office, a magnet for diplomats and lobbyists, took in $40 million. His Doral golf course and resort in Miami took in $75 million. His Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, received $25 million, and his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, generated $15 million.

    Some of the 12-month figures for his properties are down from his previous report, but that earlier report covered about 16 months and so it is not directly comparable.

    The figures are before expenses and so give no indication of how much profit the president made off the properties.

    Trump has at least $315 million in debt, about the same as he reported a year ago. One of his biggest lenders is Ladder Capital, which has lent more than $100 million. Trump owes Deutsche Bank as much as $175 million.

    The debt figures are given in broad ranges in the report and capped at $50 million, so it's unclear just how much Trump actually owes. The president's tax returns would give a clear picture, but Trump has broken with tradition by refusing to make them public.

    Trump Names Mick Mulvaney Acting Chief of Staff

    [NATL] Trump Names Mick Mulvaney Acting Chief of Staff

    President Donald Trump announced on twitter Friday that Mick Mulvaney will take over as acting chief of staff, replacing John Kelly.

    (Published Friday, Dec. 14, 2018)

    When Trump took office, he refused to fully divest from his global business, another break with presidential tradition. Instead, he put his assets in a trust controlled by his two adult sons and a senior executive. Trump can take back control of the trust at any time, and he's allowed to withdraw cash from it as he pleases.

    His report shows that Trump received $64,840 from the Screen Actors Guild pension fund. Trump has appeared in several movies, including "Home Alone 2" and "Zoolander."

    For operating New York's Wollman Rink in Central Park, the president took in $9.3 million.

    Though it was published three decades ago, Trump's "The Art of The Deal" last year generated as much as $1 million.

    Associated Press writer Richard Lardner contributed to this report.