Cohen: I Paid Hush Money Out of Personal Funds

After repeatedly denying that Donald Trump had an affair with Stormy Daniels or that he had set up a $130,000 payment to her to keep her quiet about it, Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, now says that it’s all true and that it was his own money, not Trump’s, that paid her off.

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, said on Tuesday that he had paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to a pornographic-film actress who had once claimed to have had an affair with Mr. Trump.

In the most detailed explanation of the 2016 payment made to the actress, Stephanie Clifford, Mr. Cohen, who worked as a counsel to the Trump Organization for more than a decade, said he was not reimbursed for the payment.

“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Mr. Cohen said in a statement to The New York Times. “The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”

So why would he suddenly admit to all this now? Here’s why:

Mr. Cohen said that he had given a similar statement to the Federal Election Commission in response to a complaint filed by the government watchdog group Common Cause, which filed a complaint saying that the payment, which was made through a limited liability company that Mr. Cohen established, was an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign.

So he lied about it, on Trump’s behalf, when he thought it wouldn’t get him into any legal trouble. When the story first broke in the Wall Street Journal, Cohen sent them a statement saying, “President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels” and that any “rumors” that she was given “hush money” are “completely false.” Imagine that, Trump lying about something and his attorney doing his dirty work. So surprising.

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