Trump lists reimbursement to Michael Cohen; ethics office says disclosure was required

Clay Curtis
May 16, 2018

President Donald Trump has submitted his annual financial disclosure with the Office of Government Ethics, the agency tweeted on Tuesday, though it remains unclear whether the form contains details about the $130,000 hush payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels.

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, 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.

"Today, the President filed his annual financial disclosure report with OGE and it is now under review", a tweet from the ethics office said. "Mr. Trump fully reimbursed Mr. Cohen", the report said.

Cohen has previously said he paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 as part of a settlement and non-disclosure agreement reached just before the election in 2016. The value of the payment ranged from $100,001 to $250,000. Giuliani indicated in an interview earlier this month that Trump reimbursed Cohen in installments.

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Former Department of Justice spokesperson Matt Miller described the letter as "essentially a criminal referral to DOJ for Trump making a false statement in a previous financial disclosure".

U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in New York City, U.S., April 13, 2018. Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has characterized the repayment as taken from funds paid as a retainer for Cohen's legal services that didn't have to be listed as a debt, according to the BuzzFeed story.

The form will cover all of 2017 and some of 2018.

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