Trump Releases Financial Disclosure Form Officially Recognizing Michael Cohen Payment
17 May, 2018, 03:08 | Author: Sheila Harris
The former Mayor's TV appearances resulted in questions arising as to whether the money which Giuliani said that Trump paid back to Cohen could be considered campaign donations.
AT&T, which has acknowledged paying some $600,000 to Cohen and was also named by Daniels' lawyer, has also said it was a "big mistake" and a "serious misjudgement" to hire Trump's lawyer, even as it maintained its actions were legal.
Felix Ehrat, the top lawyer at Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, has chose to step down from his role over the drugmaker's $1.2 million payment to President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen for healthcare policy lobbying services.
Trump had previously disputed whether he was aware of the payment by Cohen and if he reimbursed his lawyer.
If the Justice Department pursues this referral from the Office of Government Ethics - it will have to determine if the failure to report the liability on the previous report was done "knowingly and willfully".
"President Trump and Vice President Pence filed their financial disclosure forms with the Office of Government Ethics today, May 15th", White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said, according to pool reports. Pornographic performer Stormy Daniels received $130,000 in hush money from the same shell company just before the 2016 election.
He added that he doesn't agree with the ethics office's contention that the payments had to be disclosed. Trump, who has denied having a sexual relationship with Daniels during his marriage to First Lady Melania Trump, said earlier this month that he reimbursed Cohen.
"Novartis believed that Michael Cohen could advise the company as to how the Trump administration might approach certain USA healthcare policy matters, including the Affordable Care Act", Novartis said.
The payment made by Cohen was between $100,001 and $250,000 and there was no interest incurred, said the report, following the ethics office practice of reporting dollar amounts of payments and holdings in broad ranges.
Trump's latest form said the reimbursement was being reported "in the interest of transparency", though it did not have to be disclosed as a reportable liability. Daniels has sued to be released from the nondisclosure agreement.
In April, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Cohen's offices and home as part of a criminal investigation.
The ethics disclosure also contained information on Trump's personal businesses. Trump spends time and vacations at both clubs and sells memberships to Mar-a-Lago.
While Trump's annual ethics disclosure reveals information about his personal finances, it lacks details of the sort found in an income tax return.
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