A lawyer for Stormy Daniels has corroborated Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s claim that he paid the porn star $130,000 out of his own funds, saying in a statement the account is in “complete harmony” with what Cohen told him at the time of the 2016 transaction, The New York Times reported.
The source of the money is a subject of fevered interest by transparency groups, who have raised concerns that disclosure requirements or individual campaign contribution laws may have been violated.
The Wall Street Journal first reported in January that Cohen, a longtime Trump Organization attorney, had arranged the payment before Election Day as part of an agreement that would preclude Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — from discussing a supposed sexual encounter with President Trump.
“I represented Stephanie Clifford in the Michael Cohen/Stephanie Clifford transaction,” Los Angeles-based attorney Keith Davidson said in a statement. “I read today that Michael Cohen reports that the source of the $130,000 paid to Ms. Clifford was from his own personal funds. That assertion is in complete harmony with what he informed me of at the time of the transaction.”
“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.”
If true, some liberal-leaning watchdog groups say, that might mean Cohen effectively made an illegally oversized, undisclosed in-kind campaign contribution to the Trump campaign.
Common Cause, one of those groups, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission concerning Cohen’s payment.
The organization’s litigation and policy vice president has said that even if the money did not come from Cohen’s personal funds, an investigation is warranted to figure out who made the payment possible, the New York Times reported.
Cohen, for his part, called the allegations he had violated the law “without merit.”
“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 in a statement obtained by Fox News.
Clifford, meanwhile, believes that Cohen has violated the nondisclosure agreement the parties reportedly signed, and now she’s looking into selling her story to media outlets, the New York Times reported, citing her manager.