When Cohen acknowledged the $130,000 payment in February, he said he was not reimbursed for the payment either directly or indirectly…
(Jessica Chia and Janon Fisher, New York Daily News) NEW YORK — Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said President Donald Trump reimbursed his lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment that went to adult actress Stormy Daniels.
Giuliani, who joined the president’s legal team two weeks ago, appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” on Wednesday night and shot down claims the payment violated campaign finance laws.
“That money was not campaign money, sorry … (The money) was funneled through a law firm, and the president repaid it,” said Giuliani.
“He didn’t know about the specifics of it but he did know about the general arrangement, that Michael would take care of things like this,” he added.
In the days leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Cohen negotiated a nondisclosure agreement with Daniels, who claimed she had a sexual affair with the president in 2006 after the two met at a celebrity golf tournament.
Government watchdog group Common Cause and research group American Bridge have since filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission claiming the payment violates campaign finance laws because it was not reported as an in-kind contribution.
When Cohen acknowledged the $130,000 payment in February, he said, “Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with (Stormy Daniels), and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly.”
But Giuliani contradicted Cohen on Wednesday and said the money was “funneled through a law firm and the president repaid it.” He later added that Trump reimbursed Cohen “over the period of several months.”
When Fox News host Sean Hannity confronted Giuliani about Cohen’s previous statement, the former New York City mayor said, “I don’t know. I haven’t investigated that, no reason to dispute that … ”
“The fact is, trust me they’re going to come up with no violations. Payments are perfectly legal,” Giuliani went on to say.
Common Cause spokesman David Vance responded to Giuliani’s claims Wednesday and told the New York Daily News, “It doesn’t make everything magically go away.”
“It’s still a violation because it wasn’t disclosed. You can’t have anonymous pots of money funding your campaign,” Vance said.
He argued that it was a campaign contribution because it was designed to influence the campaign.
“If it happened a decade ago, why was it being paid on the eve of the election? If it wasn’t going to influence the election, I doubt he would have paid it when he did. It bares assessment and I’m sure the Justice Department will get to the bottom of it,” he added.
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