Sources Claim that Trump’s Campaign Funds also Paid Cohen’s Legal Fees
The recent sources obtained from Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, revealed that he nearly spent an astounding $228,000! This amount is much higher than the FEC’s range, raising questions if Trump’s team may have violated the campaign finance laws. What’s more, Cohen’s legal fees were also included in the campaign’s budget!
Legal Consulting Services
ABC News unveiled the Federal Election Commission (FEC) records showing that Trump’s campaign made three payments to a legal consulting firm named McDermott Will and Emery, in which Cohen’s attorney, Stephen Ryan, was his business partner from October 2017- January 2018. The payments were said to be the payment of Cohen’s services for defending and representing on behalf of Trump. Although Cohen denied such allegations and reiterated he didn’t have a significant role in Trump’s campaign.
Moreover, he knew that as a lawyer, it’s illegal for anyone to spend a campaign fund for personal use. Unfortunately for him, the public didn’t buy his defense. In fact, the chief strategy of Common Cause, a nonprofit watchdog, states that Cohen and Trump are on a shaky legal ground right now.
The legal experts also commented that if the payments stated in the FEC filings relate to the Russian probe, Trump, and his team didn’t likely violate the campaign finance laws. It’s because the investigation relates to the 2016 US Presidential campaign.
However, if the payments relate to the Stormy Daniels incident, that’s the time they may encounter a legal problem. As of this writing, it’s not yet clear what type of legal work they paid for. But the sources confirmed that the legal work was unrelated to Daniels. One of Trump’s campaign spokespersons declined to comment on the said issue. The same is true with Ryan, who is currently Cohen’s attorney.
The Russian Probe
Ryan is currently representing his client Cohen in two major legal matters. The first is the ongoing Russian investigation headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller tries establishing a possible link between the Russian agents’ role in influencing Trump’s campaign for the 2016 presidential election.
Mueller’s team issued a subpoena order to the Trump Organization to question them about the Russian related documents since the company has direct knowledge of the said issue. Furthermore, the investigators have asked Cohen for an explanation about his role in the said “confidential negotiations” that transpired to build a Trump Tower in Moscow just in time for the Presidential campaign. Cohen replied the Trump Organization considered the proposal once since the Trump Tower would’ve been the tallest building in Moscow. However, they abandoned the said plan to concentrate more on Trump’s campaign last 2016.
Trump’s Intimate Controversy
The special counsel wanted to confirm Stormy Daniels’ claim that Cohen paid him a lump sum of $130,000 to keep mum about her intimate relationship with Trump in lieu of his campaign. The FBI raided Cohen’s office, home, and even his hotel room to seize any records they could find related to Daniel’s matter. So far, Cohen hasn’t been charged with any criminal case. He did appear in court last week to review the seized materials and determine which records will fall into the prosecutor’s hands and which will be kept under the attorney-client privilege.
Daniels also questioned Cohen’s legality to execute the “hush agreement” considering Trump never signed it. She also filed defamation charges against Cohen on the said case. During the court’s filing last week, Cohen revealed that he will exercise his 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination to fight Daniels’ lawsuit.
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