- Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
- Michael Cohen reportedly stockpiled some money to help tie up loose ends for Donald Trump before he won the presidential election in 2016.
- A new report from The Wall Street Journal cites public documents that show Cohen gained access to more than $700,000 for that effort, through a couple of financial transactions.
- Cohen previously acknowledged that he had obtained a home-equity line of credit in order to pay $130,000 to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, as part of a nondisclosure agreement to keep her quiet about a 2006 sexual encounter she said she had with Trump.
- The revelation about Cohen’s financial maneuvers emerges as prosecutors dig into his past business dealings. He is currently under criminal investigation.
Michael Cohen, the longtime personal attorney to President Donald Trump, reportedly gained access to a large sum of money meant to be used for tying up loose ends on behalf of Trump during the 2016 election.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal published Friday night, Cohen executed a couple of financial transactions that freed up as much as $774,000. The transactions include a line of credit tied to Cohen’s apartment in Manhattan, and a separate mortgage on a Trump World Tower apartment on which both Cohen and his wife are signers.
The Journal cites public real-estate records that show those transactions took place between late 2015 and February 2016.
Cohen previously acknowledged that he had obtained a home-equity line of credit in order to pay $130,000 to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, a woman who said she had an affair with Trump in 2006. That money was paid as part of a nondisclosure agreement between Daniels, Cohen, and Trump. Daniels filed a lawsuit in California earlier this year seeking to be released from that contract.
Trump’s newest defense attorney, Rudy Giuliani, revealed on Wednesday that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels, potentially amplifying the president’s legal exposure in the matter. Trump’s reimbursement to Cohen totaled as much as $470,000, Giuliani told The New York Times on Wednesday, which he said included “incidental expenses.” It was not immediately clear what, if any, other financial agreements Cohen made on behalf of Trump.
The new revelations about Cohen’s financial maneuvers add color to his role as Trump’s fixer, who the billionaire businessman has dispatched over the years to extinguish legal fires on his behalf. Prosecutors in New York are digging into Cohen’s past business dealings. He is currently under criminal investigation.
The inquiry hit a crescendo last month, when the FBI raided Cohen’s property and confiscated a trove of documents and devices linked to Cohen’s clients, including Trump. The case against Cohen is unrelated to the ongoing Russia investigation.