Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump lawyer Cohen sought $1 mln from Qatar in late 2016

Trump lawyer Cohen sought $1 mln from Qatar in late 2016

Daniels had previously described a 2006 liaison with Trump before signing a non-disclosure agreement shortly before the November 2016 presidential election.

A footnote in the 92-page document claims that the expense was not required to be reported on Trump's 2016 disclosure form, but "in the interest of transparency" says that Cohen was reimbursed without interest a year ago for an amount in the range of USD100,000 to USD250,000.

More recently, former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani - newly hired as part of Trump's legal team - said in interviews that Trump had reimbursed Cohen for the payment.

After being questioned by MSNBC's Ari Melber, Avenatti said the agreements with these women could "prove to be problematic" for Trump with regards to violating campaign finance laws, problems the Daniels payment is already creating for the president.

The Office of Government Ethics, which oversees the financial-disclosure documents, said in its own footnote that it had concluded Trump had to report the payment to Cohen in a section that detailed Trump's legal liabilities over the course of 2017 and the first half of 2018.

Common Cause, a nonpartisan watchdog group in Washington, has filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Election Commission, claiming Trump broke the law when his campaign excluded details about the $130,000 payment in legally mandated filings.

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Mueller is investigating possible collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation, something that Trump has repeatedly denied.

"I don't think I ever changed that", Giuliani told Ingraham, before revealing that a day shy of his one month anniversary on Trump's legal team, he still doesn't have his facts straight. But Giuliani said in early May that the president had indeed repaid Cohen.

While Apol didn't say so in his letter, this means Trump could have committed a crime by not disclosing the liability in his financial disclosure report previous year. The White House did not respond to requests for comment to clarify the reason for Trump's payment to Cohen.

"OGE has determined that the information provided in that note meets the disclosure requirements for a reportable liability under the Ethics in Government Act". Giuliani also took issue with whether the reimbursement, which he said had been paid through a 12-installment retainer to Cohen, "even had to be disclosed" at all. His Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., received $25 million, and his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., generated $15 million.

The document is being closely watched by ethics experts to see whether it discloses the $130,000 paid to porn star Stormy Daniels on his behalf by his attorney Michael Cohen.

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