WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s financial disclosure forms list a payment between $100,001 – $250,000 to Michael Cohen, his longtime personal attorney, but does not state the reason.
Cohen revealed earlier this year that he had paid $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence over an alleged 2006 affair that she claims took place but Trump denies.
Rudy Giuliani, an attorney on Trump’s private legal team, said during an interview with Fox News last month that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the payment.
The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) released an accompanying letter to the Justice Department stating that Trump should have disclosed the payment, made in 2017, on his previous form, a move that former OGE director Walter Shaub said was “tantamount to a criminal referral.”
This is tantamount to a criminal referral. OGE has effectively reported the president to DOJ for potentially committing a crime. Dave Apol comes through in the end!! https://t.co/8LhDQZS8pF
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) May 16, 2018
However, OGE notes that the inclusion in this year’s report as a personal liability meets the disclosure requirements, despite its absence last year.
A footnote added by the filer states that Trump’s team believe that disclosure for the payment was not required, but that they were included in an effort to provide “transparency.”
Trump filed the form on Tuesday, the date of the deadline. It also includes background into how his businesses performed since his last filing and can be read here.