Donald Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, reportedly complained to his friends about the payment he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, during the 2016 presidential election.
The $130,000 payment was part of a nondisclosure agreement that forbid Clifford from speaking about an alleged 2006 affair with Trump. After the public reacted with disbelief and demanded answers, Cohen acknowledged the payment last month but denied that it had violated any campaign finance laws.
Cohen insisted that the money was his own and did not share any information about what the payment was for.
Now The Wall Street Journal has reported that Cohen’s complaints seem to confirm the president’s role in the payment. Cohen griped shortly after the election about not having been reimbursed by Trump for paying Clifford.
It was stated that he almost did not make the payment at all, adding that he had missed two deadlines earlier that month due to not being able to reach Trump in the final days of the campaign.
The Journal reported that Cohen was trying to secure a deal with Clifford’s representatives during the negotiations in 2016, but was unable to get a hold of Trump to conclude business. Consequently, he used his own funds to transfer money to Clifford’s lawyer.
Cohen responded to the report by sending a two-word email to the Journal: “Fake News.”
Along with the report came news that Cohen’s bank, First Republic Bank, also flagged the transaction as suspicious and reported it to the Treasury Department. Neither Cohen’s bank or Clifford’s lawyer’s bank have made a comment about the transactions.
The payment was sent through Essential Consultants LLC, which is a private company based in Delaware that Cohen established a few weeks before the 2016 election seemingly for the purpose of paying off Clifford with a bank account linked to that firm.
Clifford has been quiet about the scandal, which suggests that the allegations of the non-disclosure agreement are true. She reportedly threatened to back out of the agreement just days before the 2016 election.
Last month, a manager for the film star said that she now believes that Cohen’s admission about the payment is a breach of the agreement, meaning Clifford may speak freely about any relationship she has had with Trump.
While she has yet to speak about the relationship, her story may cripple the president’s likelihood to make it to a second term. This scandal is heating up as the Trump-Russia collusion investigation closes in on the president.
H/T: The Hill