Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, said Tuesday he personally made a payment of $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels as part of a nondisclosure agreement before the 2016 election.
Cohen said in a statement that neither “the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was party to the transaction,” and added that he was not reimbursed for the payment “either directly or indirectly.”
“I am Mr. Trump’s longtime special counsel and I have proudly served in that role for more than a decade. In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford,” Cohen said.
He added: “Just because something isn’t true doesn’t mean that it can’t cause you harm or damage. I will always protect Mr. Trump.”
Cohen’s statement was first shared with The New York Times.
The Wall Street Journal first reported last month that Clifford, who performs under the name Stormy Daniels, was paid before the 2016 election as part of a nondisclosure agreement to cover up an alleged affair with Trump.
A watch dog group Common Cause filed a complaint following the report, saying that the payment was an in-kind donation to Trump’s presidential campaign that should have been publicly disclosed in its official reports.
“The complaint alleges that I somehow violated campaign finance laws by facilitating an excess, in-kind contribution,” Cohen said. “The allegations in the complaint are factually unsupported and without legal merit, and my counsel has submitted a response to the F.E.C.”