Trump s lawyer paid $130K to porn star linked to President
Washington Feb 14 (IANS) A long-time personal lawyer of US President Donald Trump has said that he paid $130 000 out of his own pocket to a porn star who once claimed she had an affair with the President a decade before he took office.
"In a private transaction in 2016 I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130 000 to Stephanie Clifford " Michael Cohen said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Neither the Trump organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Clifford and neither reimbursed me for the payment either directly or indirectly " the New York Times quoted him as saying.
"The payment to Clifford was lawful and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone " Cohen said.
He previously said that Trump denied an affair with Clifford whose stage name is Stormy Daniels. She had said the affair took place soon after Trump s wife Melania gave birth to the couple s son Barron.
The lawyer s statement about what he called "a private transaction" is the first time that he acknowledged a role in the payment.
The watchdog group Common Cause announced in January that it was filing federal complaints alleging that the reported $130 000 payout may have violated campaign finance laws and been an unreported in-kind contribution to Trump s campaign.
In a letter Paul S. Ryan a campaign finance expert with Common Cause said the settlement should have been considered a campaign expense "because the funds were paid for the purpose of influencing the 2016 presidential general election".
However Cohen called Common Cause s claims of campaign finance violations "factually unsupported and without legal merit".