The South Asian Times

18 February 2019 17:38 PM

Trump's lawyer 'paid $130K to porn star linked to President'


Washington, Feb 14: A long-time personal lawyer of US President Donald Trump has said that he paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to a porn star who once claimed she had an affair with the President a decade before he took office.

"In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford," Michael Cohen said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Neither the Trump organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly," the New York Times quoted him as saying.

"The payment to Clifford was lawful and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone," Cohen said.

He previously said that Trump denied an affair with Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels. She had said the affair took place soon after Trump's wife, Melania, gave birth to the couple's son, Barron.

The lawyer's statement about what he called "a private transaction" is the first time that he acknowledged a role in the payment.

The watchdog group Common Cause announced in January that it was filing federal complaints alleging that the reported $130,000 payout may have violated campaign finance laws and been an unreported in-kind contribution to Trump's campaign.

In a letter, Paul S. Ryan, a campaign finance expert with Common Cause, said the settlement should have been considered a campaign expense "because the funds were paid for the purpose of influencing the 2016 presidential general election".

However, Cohen called Common Cause's claims of campaign finance violations "factually unsupported and without legal merit".

Update: 14 Feb, 2018