President Donald Trump acknowledged that he repaid his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, more than $100,000 for expenses incurred in 2016, according to a financial disclosure form released Wednesday.
The form did not specify what the payment was for. But Cohen has admitted to paying $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels — who said she had an affair with Trump — right before the 2016 presidential election.
“In 2016, expenses were incurred by one of Donald J. Trump’s attorneys, Michael Cohen,” said footnote on the form, which was released by the Office of Government Ethics. “Mr. Cohen sought reimbursement of those expenses and Mr. Trump fully reimbursed Mr. Cohen in 2017. The category of value would be $100,001-$250,000 and the interest rate would be zero.”
The documents were submitted Tuesday, which is the deadline for all administration employees to file their financial forms.
The form appears to corroborate a recent statement made by Trump’s other attorney, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, that the president had, in fact, reimbursed Cohen for the payment made to Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford.
The newly released forms raise questions as to why the president failed to report the payment in last year’s disclosure forms.
In the document, Trump’s representatives argued that the president was not obligated to report the repaid debt but was doing so “in the interest of transparency.”
But the ethics office disagreed, annotating that the “OGE has concluded that the information related to the payment made by Mr. Cohen is required to be reported and that the information provided meets the disclosure requirement for a reportable liability.”
The forms did reflect some eye-opening figures, including revenues from Trump’s D.C. hotel with listed revenues of $40.4 million and the president’s Florida property, Mar-a-Lago, which saw revenues of $25.1 million.