Trump disclosure of Michael Cohen payment raises new legal questions

by Garry Watts May 17, 2018, 14:37
Trump disclosure of Michael Cohen payment raises new legal questions

US President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen asked the Qatari government for at least US$1 million (RM3.95 million) in December 2016 in exchange for access or insight into the Trump administration, the Washington Post reported yesterday. The leaker said they knew the risks, and "To say that I am terrified right now would be an understatement". Trump and Giuliani have clashed over what the president knew and when he knew it.

The report also came just days after The New York Times reported that the team representing Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election had stopped and searched Vekselberg when he stepped off a private plane at a New York-area airport earlier this year. The $500,000 was deposited into the First Republic Bank account within 75 days of the payment to Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, Avenatti said Tuesday, and may have been used to cover the costs of preventing Daniels from talking about an alleged affair with President Donald Trump in 2006. Yahoo News reported that while Cohen claimed he stopped pursuing Trump World Tower Moscow in January 2016, text messages and emails obtained by prosecutors and congressional investigators suggest he was still working on the deal in May 2016, when Trump was cinching the Republican presidential nomination.

He said he had not been reimbursed by Trump's company or Trump's campaign.

Al-Rumaihi told Cohen that Qatar expected to invest in Trump plans to solicit investment in a US infrastructure programme, the Post reported.

In a footnote in tiny type on page 45 of his 92-page disclosure, Mr Trump said he reimbursed Mr Cohen for "expenses" ranging from $100,001 to $250,000 dollars (€211,473). Trump: Well, you'll have to ask Michael Cohen.

Trump said he was listing the reimbursements to Michael Cohen - first made public by lawyer Rudy Giuliani two weeks ago - "in the interest of transparency", even though he said he was not required to disclose them. Cohen's attorney Stephen Ryan did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters on the reports. His Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, received $25 million, and his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, generated $15 million. His Doral club, as was the case past year, dwarfed the rest of his golf properties, with revenues of nearly $75 million.

Wayne Rooney set for American move
That has put the club's billionaire backer Farhad Moshiri under pressure as current boss Sam Allardyce's future remains in doubt. He reacted angrily to being substituted against Liverpool in a 0-0 draw last month.

The figures are before expenses and so give no indication of how much profit the president made off the properties.

The report also showed Trump earned between $230,000 and $1.1 million in capital gains income on stock in iPhone maker Apple, Caterpillar, Microsoft and Pepsico.

Mr. Trump listed liabilities of at least $250 million, with Deutsche Bank as his biggest creditor. The documents reportedly outlined transactions that totaled more than $3 million.

When Trump took office, he refused to fully divest from his global business, another break with presidential tradition.

For operating New York's Wollman Rink in Central Park, the president took in $9.3 million. Instead, he put his assets in a trust controlled by his two adult sons and a senior executive.

Though it was published three decades ago, Trump's "The Art of The Deal" previous year generated as much as $1 million.

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