Report: Cohen sought reimbursement from Trump Organization not Trump campaign

Aug. 24, 2018, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to a report by the Wall Street Journal that former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen applied for reimbursements, not from the Trump campaign, but from the Trump Organization for the non-disclosure legal settlements in 2016:

“If Michael Cohen now believes he thought non-disclosure agreement payments to porn stars in 2016 were campaign contributions to ‘influence the election,’ then why did he go to Trump Organization and not the Trump campaign to be reimbursed? The fact is every American has a right under the Constitution to retain legal counsel to enter into just these sorts of legal settlements, and Congress cannot preempt those rights via legislation if it wanted to. The fact that federal prosecutors in New York would go ahead and create a crime out of nothing is just one more example of prosecutorial misconduct that has characterized this Justice Department.”

Attachments:

“Last year, Mr. Weisselberg arranged for the Trump Organization to reimburse Mr. Cohen, who had in October 2016 made a $130,000 payment to Stephanie Clifford, a former adult-film actress who claimed she had sex with Mr. Trump a decade earlier, in exchange for her silence about the alleged affair. A person familiar with Mr. Weisselberg’s thinking said he didn’t know that money was intended to pay Ms. Clifford, who goes professionally by Stormy Daniels, when he agreed in January 2017 to a $35,000 monthly retainer for Mr. Cohen. That month, according to charging documents filed Tuesday, Mr. Cohen gave executives at the Trump Organization a copy of the bank statement from his bank account for Essential Consultants LLC, the company he used to pay Ms. Clifford the previous fall. The statement reflected Mr. Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Ms. Clifford, as well as an additional $50,000 that Mr. Cohen added in handwriting was for ‘tech services.’ Executives at the Trump Organization ‘ ‘grossed up’ for tax purposes’ Mr. Cohen’s requested reimbursement, doubling it to $360,000, and added a $60,000 bonus, the document said. The next month, one executive at the company asked another executive to pay Mr. Cohen’s monthly retainer ‘from the trust’ and to ‘post to legal expenses.’” Wall Street Journal, Aug. 24, 2018 at https://www.wsj.com/articles/allen-weisselberg-longtime-trump-organization-cfo-is-granted-immunity-by-federal-prosecutors-in-michael-cohen-investigation-1535121992

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