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Ethics director questions Trump's reimbursement to lawyer Cohen

18 May 2018
Ethics director questions Trump's reimbursement to lawyer Cohen

"As the evidence rolls out over the coming months, disclosures are going to be made that my client was not alone as it relates to these payments, that Michael Cohen was not a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week fixer for the sole goal of taking care of Stormy Daniels", he said. "But there's at least two that I think are on solid ground", lawyer Michael Avenatti said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe".

After the one meeting in NY with Novartis staff, Cohen occasionally contacted Novartis, at one stage suggesting it build a new USA factory.

Mr Trump had previously disputed whether he was aware of the payment by Mr Cohen and whether he reimbursed him.

The document is being closely watched by ethics experts to see whether it discloses the $130,000 paid to porn star Stormy Daniels on his behalf by his attorney Michael Cohen.

"President Trump was required by law to report that he "funnelled" money through Michael Cohen to reimburse a secret payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, but he concealed these payments, and we still do not know why", Mr Cummings said.

Giuliani revealed earlier this month Trump repaid Cohen for the $130,000 he spent as a part of a non-disclosure agreement in October 2016.

In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which you can read in its entirety here, Apol notes that there appears to be a potentially-criminal discrepancy between Trump's two statements about the matter.

Cohen also stands accused of seeking to cash in on his proximity to the president, after it emerged he received millions of dollars from a Russian oligarch and major corporations seeking access to the administration.

Trump listed the reimbursement to Cohen in his financial disclosure report.

"There should have been more due diligence", Jimenez said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday.

Cohen is under investigation by U.S. authorities over possible bank and tax fraud, along a separate probe into possible collusion between Russian Federation and Trump aides during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Later that week, the president said the newly hired Mr Giuliani needed time to "get his facts straight". "Trump may be wondering today whether the information DOJ seized from Cohen's office included any emails or other documents showing he knew of the debt when he filed last year's report".

The disclosure shows millions in 2017 income from rents, licences, book and television royalties, company shares, hotel management fees and golf courses, with interests from India to Dubai.

The president reported royalties from his 1987 book The Art of the Deal in the same $100,000-$1m range as he did previous year - and sales for some of his lesser titles picked up.