2018 Letter from Cohen’s Lawyer Proves Trump Did Not Pay Off Stormy Daniels Nor Instruct Cohen to Do So

A lawyer representing Michael Cohen, former lawyer for ex-U.S. President Donald Trump, claimed in a 2018 letter to federal authorities that he was not reimbursed for hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, contradicting his recent grand jury testimony.

The letter, obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com, could complicate prosecutors’ pursuit of criminal charges against Trump over the payments.

Cohen had alleged that Trump directed him to pay $130,000 to Daniels to keep quiet about their alleged affair just days before the 2016 presidential election.

Cohen said Trump reimbursed him with personal funds and later pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance law over the hush money.

However, in the February 8, 2018 letter to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Cohen’s attorney Stephen Ryan wrote: “Mr. Cohen used his own personal funds,” and that “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.”

Ryan’s letter was a response to an FEC probe launched after complaints of campaign finance violations, lodged by Paul Ryan and the organization Common Cause.

The letter claimed that “the payment in question does not constitute a campaign contribution or expenditure and, therefore, the FEC lacks jurisdiction over this matter.”

Cohen’s testimony to Congress a year later, however, was in direct conflict with the 2018 letter.

He said under oath that Trump “asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair” and that “Mr. Trump directed me to use my 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.”

Cohen provided exhibits including a copy of a $130,000 wire transfer to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and “a copy of a $35,000 check that President Trump personally signed from his personal bank account on August 1, 2017 – when he was President of the United States – pursuant to the cover-up, which was the basis of my guilty plea, to reimburse me,” Daily Mail reports.

The grand jury involved in the case was scheduled to meet today but has been asked to return on Thursday, when prosecutors “may present one more witness,” according to a court official.

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