Following months of denials and mixed messages about so-called hush money, Donald Trump‘s newly released financial disclosure forms document for the first time that he reimbursed “expenses” of more than $100,000 by his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, during 2016.
Now, government watchdogs want to know why the payment wasn’t disclosed a year ago.
While the mandatory, annual filing does not specify what the payment was for, Rudy Giuliani has previously said that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 he had paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Trump. Trump has denied the affair.
“In 2016 expenses were incurred by one of Donald J. Trump’s attorneys, Michael Cohen,” Trump reported in a note at the bottom of Page 45 of the 92-page Personal Financial Disclosure report. “Mr. Cohen sought reimbursement of those expenses and Mr. Trump fully reimbursed Cohen in 2017. The category of value would be $100,001 to $250,000 and the interest rate would be zero.”
Cohen has admitted paying the settlement Daniels, made weeks before the 2016 election. Daniels claimed it was made to keep her silent about her 2006 sexual encounter with Trump.
Trump told reporters in April aboard Air Force One he did not know about the 2016 payment to Daniels, which Cohen said he made through money obtained through his home-equity line of credit and for which he had not been reimbursed.
“The disclosure flies in the face of what Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen have been trying to tell the American people for months, and it directly contradicts Mr. Trump’s videotaped comments on Air Force One back in early April,” Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, tells PEOPLE.
“The American people deserve the truth,” Avenatti continues, “and they deserve to have elected leaders and those close to those elected leaders not lying to them and …read more