Philippine Daily Inquirer - - REGIONS -

NEW YORK— US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump re­vealed in his fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sure that he re­im­bursed per­sonal lawyer Michael Co­hen as much as $250,000 for un­spec­i­fied “ex­penses,” with no men­tion of a $130,000 pay­ment to porn ac­tress Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about a sex­ual tryst they had.

The head of the na­tion’s ethics of­fice on Wed­nes­day ques­tioned why Trump didn’t in­clude this in his pre­vi­ous year’s sworn dis­clo­sure and passed along his con­cerns to fed­eral prosecutors.

“I am pro­vid­ing both re­ports to you be­cause you may find the dis­clo­sure rel­e­vant to any in­quiry you may be pur­su­ing,” David Apol, act­ing di­rec­tor of the Of­fice of Gov­ern­ment Ethics, wrote to Deputy At­tor­ney Gen­eral Rod Rosen­stein.

Loan re­pay­ment

Apol wrote that he con­sid­ered Trump’s pay­ment to Co­hen to be a re­pay­ment on a loan and that it was re­quired to be in­cluded in Trump’s June 2017 dis­clo­sure.

But an­other Trump lawyer, Rudy Gi­u­liani, said he didn’t think the re­pay­ment “had to be dis­closed at all be­cause I think it was an ex­pen­di­ture that he re­im­bursed.”

“The fact is that the pres­i­dent dis­closed ev­ery­thing that he could dis­close,” Guil­iani said.

“He can’t dis­close more than he knows. And we’re very com­fort­able with it,” he added.

But ethics ex­perts said that if the pay­ment was know­ingly and will­fully left out, Trump could be in vi­o­la­tion of fed­eral ethics laws.

Big deal

“This is a big deal and un­prece­dented,” said Vir­ginia Carter, for­mer ethics of­fi­cial in the Clin­ton and Obama ad­min­is­tra­tions.

How Trump dealt with the Daniels hush money in his dis­clo­sure has been closely watched, par­tic­u­larly after Gi­u­liani gave in­ter­views ear­lier this month say­ing the pres­i­dent had re­im­bursed Co­hen in a se­ries of pay­ments after the cam­paign was over.


Trump and Gi­u­liani have clashed over what the pres­i­dent knew and when he knew it.

In a foot­note in tiny type on Page 45 of his 92-page dis­clo­sure, Trump said he re­im­bursed Co­hen for “ex­penses” rang­ing from $100,001 to $250,000.—

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.