Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Stormy Daniels: Trump discloses payment to reimburse lawyer

Stormy Daniels: Trump discloses payment to reimburse lawyer

US President Donald Trump has formally disclosed that he reimbursed his personal attorney more than US$100,000 (S$134,000) past year, apparently in connection with the payment of hush money to a porn star, government records show.

The Office of Government Ethics disagreed with Trump's assessment on the form that the payment was not required to be disclosed and instead should have been reported on Trump's 2017 filing.

When Trump originally filed his June, 2017, financial disclosure form, he did not include the $130,000 that he paid, via his attorney, Michael Cohen, to Daniels (real name: Stephanie Clifford). Giuliani's statement contradicted Trump earlier having said that he had no knowledge about any payment made to Clifford.

It said it believed that Cohen could advise the company on the Trump administration's approach to healthcare policies, including the Affordable Care Act.

This is a developing story.

And this month, Mr. Avenatti took the unusual step of posting leaked financial records that he said showed that Mr. Cohen received money from a firm linked to a Russian oligarch.

The disclosure did not specify what the reimbursement was for, and gave just a range: $101,000-$250,000.

Swiss medicine company Novartis AG said it paid almost $1.2 million to Trump's lawyer, while other companies came forward saying they had hired Cohen for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Justice Department could now look into whether the payment to Daniels should have been disclosed under campaign finance laws, but there's no indication of an active investigation into that matter.

Felix Ehrat, the top lawyer at Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, has made a decision 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.

President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and former business associate worked fervidly to not only have a Trump Tower built in Moscow but also reportedly angled for Trump to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 2016 campaign.

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

As for the questionable tactics, he says Avenatti attributed certain "fraudulent" wire transfers to the wrong Michael Cohen. Both the women he's communicating with have yet to decide if they're willing to go public with their situation, Avenatti said Thursday. Mr Apol's letter was released with the Trump disclosures.

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.

Trump's income from the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which has come under scrutiny for being a top choice for foreign dignitaries, almost doubled, from about $20 million in the 2016 report to just over $40 million past year.

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