Michael D. Cohen – longtime personal attorney to U.S. president Donald Trump – told The New York Times this week that a $130,000 payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels came out of his own pocket.
Cohen added that he has neither sought nor received reimbursement from Trump, any of his businesses or his political campaign for the controversial payment.
“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with (Daniels) and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Cohen told the paper. “The payment to (Daniels) was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”
Government watchdog group Common Cause has accused Cohen of making what amounted to an in-kind contribution to Trump’s presidential campaign.
“This latest admission by Cohen and the circumstances behind it requires a full investigation by the FEC and the Department of Justice,” the organization said in a statement responding to Cohen’s comments. “Questions about the payment and the circumstances behind it must be answered, and they must be answered under oath.”
As first reported by The Wall Street Journal last month, Cohen negotiated the payment with Daniels a month before the 2016 presidential election as part of a nondisclosure deal that barred her from discussing anything related to Trump.
Daniels has since denied having sexual relations with Trump, however she gave an interview to InTouch magazine in 2011 detailing their alleged affair.
According to the interview, Daniels claimed she first had sex with Trump at a Lake Tahoe, Nevada hotel suite in 2006 – four months after Trump’s wife, first lady Melania Trump, gave birth to their son Barron Trump. Subsequent encounters were alleged to have taken place at a hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
Daniels made an appearance at a gentleman’s club in Greenville, S.C. last month. She is planning to spend two nights at Thee Dollhouse gentleman’s club in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. next month, according to reporters Megan Tomasic and Alan Blondin of The (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) Sun News.
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