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Leaker of Michael Cohen's financial records makes another explosive accusation

17 May 2018

The head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) flagged that discrepancy to deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in case it is "relevant to any inquiry you may be pursuing".

The document released Wednesday said that Trump was reporting the repaid debt "in the interest of transparency" but that it was "not required to be disclosed as reportable liabilities".

Trump submitted his financial disclosure form, showing he made a payment to Cohen between $100,001 and $250,000 in 2017. "The category of value would be United States dollars 100,001-USD 250,000 and the interest rate would be zero", it said, noting that the president is doing so in the interest of transparency, even as he is not required by law.

President Donald Trump has filed a financial disclosure report that reveals a payment to his personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

TV 60 Minutes Stormy Daniels
Leaker of Michael Cohen's financial records makes another explosive accusation

The disclosure came in Trump's annual financial form, a copy which was released by Office of Government Ethics.

The scandal engulfing Cohen has opened a new front in the legal challenges dogging Trump, grabbing headlines from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ominous investigation into possible collusion between the president's 2016 campaign and Russian Federation.

Initially it seemed Mr Cohen had timed his investment perfectly as the taxi medallions (a small plate attached to the hood that proves the cab is registered) quadrupled in value in the decade leading up to 2012.

The payment by Cohen to actress Stormy Daniels was made in the last weeks before the 2016 presidential election, as part of a non-disclosure agreement meant to ensure Daniels would not speak about the alleged affair publicly.

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"I have never seen something pulled off the system", the source told The New Yorker.

The financial form, however, did not explicitly say what the payments were for. Among his holdings, he took in $25 million from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. His Doral club, as was the case previous year, dwarfed the rest of his golf properties, with revenues of nearly $75 million. The president-elect's statements inspired a sarcastic tweetstorm in November 2016 from the Office of Government Ethics' official Twitter account about Trump divesting his businesses. Mr. Trump is also still picking up a Screen Actors Guild pension of almost $65,000 from his years as a reality TV host and sometime bit player in movies.

The report also showed Trump earned between $230,000 and $1.1 million in capital gains income on stock in iPhone maker Apple, Caterpillar, Microsoft and Pepsico.

Giuliani said Trump started paying Cohen back through a series of monthly installments of roughly $35,000 and that those payments began last year and may have carried into this year.

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Mr. Trump listed liabilities of at least $250 million, with Deutsche Bank as his biggest creditor.

The two also met later in the week at a NY hotel restaurant, where Mr Cohen discussed Mr Trump's plans to solicit investment in a massive U.S. domestic infrastructure programme.

Mr Akhtar said he spent five years working at the garage Mr Friedman - who has since been jailed and faces trouble on a number of legal fronts - ran with partner Mr Cohen.

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Leaker of Michael Cohen's financial records makes another explosive accusation