12:53, March 06 97 0 abajournal.com

2018-03-06 12:53:05
Lawyer reportedly complained that Trump didn’t reimburse him for Stormy Daniels payment

Michael Cohen, the personal lawyer for President Donald Trump, reportedly complained to friends after the election that he still hadn’t been reimbursed by the president for a $130,000 payment made to Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claimed to have had a sexual encounter with Trump 12 years ago.

Cohen wired the money to a lawyer for Daniels from an account at First Republic Bank in October 206 and only 12 days before the election, the Wall Street Journal reports in an article based on an anonymous source. Cohen had reportedly said he had missed two payment deadlines earlier that month because he couldn’t reach Trump.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was paid in exchange for refusing to discuss an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, anonymous sources told the Journal. Cohen had worked as a lawyer for the Trump Organization until Trump’s election, when he became Trump’s personal lawyer.

Common Cause has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission claiming that the payment to Daniels violated campaign reporting requirements. The group says the payment amounted to an unreported in-kind contribution to Trump’s campaign because it was designed to influence the election.

Campaign experts have said a campaign violation would require evidence of coordination between Cohen and Trump or his campaign.

Cohen told the Journal its new story is “fake news.” Trump has denied any relationship with Daniels.

Republic Bank reported the $130,000 transaction to the Treasury Department as a suspicious transaction; it isn’t clear when the report was made, according to the Wall Street Journal But the bank that received the funds, City National Bank in Los Angeles, began an internal inquiry into the payment about a year later.

The one-year lag suggests something happened that prompted City National to take a new look at the transaction. It’s unclear if special counsel Robert Mueller’s office did anything that prompted the internal probe.

Cohen formerly said he used his own money to pay Daniels. At that time Cohen said he wasn’t reimbursed by the Trump campaign or the Trump Organization, but he didn’t answer questions about whether Trump or someone else had reimbursed him.