CONTACT: Jordan Libowitz
202-408-5565 | [email protected]
Washington— Testimony from Michael Cohen’s February 2019 congressional hearing, documents associated with Cohen’s guilty plea, and checks produced to Congress and the press suggest that President Trump violated federal law by failing to disclose that he owed Cohen $130,000 for hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, according to a supplemental criminal complaint filed today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
In his testimony to the House Oversight Committee, Cohen asserted that he was personally reimbursed by President Trump for the $130,000 payment to Daniels. According to Cohen, President Trump “directed” him to use his “own personal funds from a Home Equity Line of Credit to avoid any money being traced back to him that could negatively impact his campaign,” then repaid him for the payment.
“Since our complaint was first filed, more and more evidence has come to light suggesting that President Trump knowingly concealed his debt to Michael Cohen in order to keep the public in the dark,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder. “The president’s failure to be transparent and truthful about his financial interests not only erodes the public’s trust in this office, but also may be a serious criminal offense. The Justice Department should thoroughly investigate.”
Newly produced checks indicate that the President Trump personally signed a reimbursement check to Cohen just weeks before failing to disclose the liability on his financial disclosure statement. Other new evidence further shows that Trump Organization executives added a bonus and tax compensation bringing the amount owed to $420,000, and suggests that President Trump’s personal and White House attorneys also may have tried to mislead the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) about President Trump’s liability to Cohen.
CREW previously filed criminal complaints against President Trump regarding his unreported liabilities tied to hush money payments and asked the DOJ and OGE to investigate. Following those complaints, Trump later disclosed the money owed to Cohen on his 2018 public financial disclosures, as he was legally required to do, which raised the question of whether he knowingly kept the loan secret, in violation of federal law, before it was public knowledge.