There’s another nail being driven into the coffin of the case against former President Donald Trump, and it is a 5-year-old letter that has resurfaced.
The document appears to show that Trump’s former “fixer,” Michael Cohen, lied to investigators about a hush money payment made during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The letter is dated February 8, 2018, and it was written by Cohen’s attorney Stephen M. Ryan to the Federal Election Commission about the payment Cohen made to porn actress Stormy Daniels.
Cohen’s lawyer claims in the letter that Cohen used his own personal funds to make a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford.”
“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed Mr. Cohen for the payment directly or indirectly,” the letter said.
Six months after the letter was written, Cohen pled guilty to several charges including campaign finance violations in federal court. He was debarred as a result.
Cohen is one of the key players in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office grand jury investigation. He has testified to the grand jury that he made the payments at the direction of Trump.
But attorney Robert Costello, who used to advise Cohen, has attacked the credibility of Cohen in court this week after he said that he had information that contradicted some of Cohen’s current statements and that “could be exculpatory for Trump.”
The New York Post and The New York Times reported that Cohen was paid $420,000 by Trump or Trump’s trust. That money included $130,000 for the payment and $50,000 for digital work Cohen did for the campaign. That $180,000 doubled to offset taxes. The remaining $60,000 was a “bonus,” prosecutors say.
Prosecutors argue that the alleged $130,000 hush payment was an improper donation to the Trump campaign because the money was used to stop a story to benefit his presidential campaign.