President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, has admitted that he paid adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket.
Cohen said that the Trump Organization and Trump’s campaign were not involved in the transaction with the actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford and who once claimed to have had an affair with Trump.
“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,” said Cohen in a statement.
The statement was released in response to a complaint filed at the Federal Election Commission, which alleges that Cohen violated campaign finance laws by facilitating an excess, in-kind contribution. Cohen said that the complaint is factually unsupported and does not have legal merit.
Cohen added that “the payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.” The payment was made in October 2016, one month before the U.S. presidential election that saw Trump winning a surprise victory over Hilary Clinton.
To make the payment, Cohen created a company called Essential Consultants LLC on Oct. 16, 206 and used a bank account associated with the company to transfer the money to Clifford. The transaction was made in Delaware, a favored venue for limited liability company transactions because the state does not require the people connected to the involved parties to be publicly identified.
In a story published by In Touch Magazine in 2011, Clifford talked about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump. The actress spoke about the encounter allegedly before a nondisclosure agreement between Clifford and Trump went into effect.
Clifford also talked to a Fox News reported about the encounter. However, the network reportedly shelved the story before the presidential elections.