Lawyer ad­mits pay­ing $130K to porn star linked to Trump

Kuwait Times - - Front Page -

WASH­ING­TON: Don­ald Trump’s per­sonal lawyer has told US me­dia that he paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to a porn star who has said she once had an af­fair with the now US pres­i­dent. Long-time Trump at­tor­ney Michael Co­hen said he was not re­im­bursed for the pay­ment to the ac­tress, whose real name is Stephanie Clif­ford and who goes by the stage name of Stormy Daniels. Co­hen told the New York Times, which first re­ported the story on Tues­day, that the pay­ment was le­gal. He de­clined to give details such as why he made it, or if Trump was aware of the pay­ment at the time.

“Nei­ther the Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion nor the Trump cam­paign was a party to the trans­ac­tion with Ms Clif­ford, and nei­ther re­im­bursed me for the pay­ment, ei­ther di­rectly or in­di­rectly,” Co­hen said, ac­cord­ing to the Times. “The pay­ment to Ms Clif­ford was law­ful, and was not a cam­paign con­tri­bu­tion or a cam­paign ex­pen­di­ture by any­one.”

US me­dia re­ports have said the pay­ment was made one month be­fore the Nov 2016 elec­tion to keep the li­ai­son quiet. Trump was a pri­vate cit­i­zen when the 2006 sex­ual en­counter with Clif­ford al­legedly took place. He was mar­ried at the time and his wife Me­la­nia had given birth to their son less than four months ear­lier. The pay­ment was first re­ported last month by the Wall Street Jour­nal. Co­hen’s state­ment to the Times marked the first time he ac­knowl­edged a role in what he termed a “pri­vate trans­ac­tion”.

Co­hen’s rev­e­la­tion comes after the watch­dog group Com­mon Cause filed a fed­eral com­plaint in Jan­uary ar­gu­ing that the pay­out may have vi­o­lated cam­paign fi­nance rules. Based on pub­licly avail­able in­for­ma­tion, Com­mon Cause said they have “rea­son to be­lieve” that money was “an un­re­ported in-kind ex­pen­di­ture... be­cause the funds were paid for the pur­pose of in­flu­enc­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial gen­eral,” the group said in their le­gal fil­ing.

The al­leged vi­o­la­tion of fed­eral cam­paign fi­nance law “un­der­mines the in­tegrity of democ­racy in the United States,” a let­ter signed by Paul S Ryan of Com­mon Cause reads. Co­hen told the Times that Com­mon Cause’s claims “are fac­tu­ally un­sup­ported and with­out le­gal merit”, and he has filed a re­sponse with the Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion. Trump, through his lawyers, and Clif­ford, 38, have both de­nied any­thing ever went on be­tween them. But last month the celebrity mag­a­zine In Touch pub­lished a 2011 interview with Clif­ford in which she ex­pounds at length and in de­tail on their re­la­tion­ship and what she de­scribed as their “text­book generic” sex. In that interview, Clif­ford said she met Trump at a celebrity golf tour­na­ment in 2006 and had a sex­ual en­counter with him then. She said she spoke with Trump on the phone or saw him in per­son for about a year. The In Touch interview, which had not been pub­lished be­fore, was con­ducted be­fore Clif­ford’s al­leged sign­ing of a se­crecy agree­ment in Oct 2016.

Clif­ford has been tak­ing ad­van­tage of her new-found no­to­ri­ety. She ap­peared at the Tro­phy Club strip club in South Carolina last month as part of a “Make Amer­ica Horny Again” tour that will also re­port­edly take her to sev­eral other states over the next few months. In a re­cent ap­pear­ance on the late night TV talk show “Jimmy Kim­mel Live” - right after Trump de­liv­ered his State of the Union ad­dress - Clif­ford de­flected ques­tions about the al­leged af­fair and whether she had signed a non-dis­clo­sure agree­ment.

Stormy Daniels

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