Cohen: Trump Jr signed checks for hush-money related to Stormy Daniels affair

Testimony raises possibility Trump Jr could be prosecuted for breaking campaign finance laws

Michael Cohen said he was going to jail, in part, because of his decision ‘to help Mr Trump hide that payment from the American people before they voted a few days later.’ Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Michael Cohen said he was going to jail, in part, because of his decision ‘to help Mr Trump hide that payment from the American people before they voted a few days later.’ Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

 

US president Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified to Congress on Wednesday that reimbursement checks issued to him for hush-money payments to an adult film star were signed by Donald Trump Jr and the Trump Organization chief financial officer.

Mr Cohen said Mr Trump himself signed a $35,000 (€30,000) check repaying him for “hush money I paid on his behalf” while Mr Trump was president, Mr Cohen told a House of Representatives’ committee.

“Other checks to reimburse me for the hush money payments were signed by Don Jr and Allen Weisselberg,” he said.

Mr Cohen’s testimony raises the possibility that Donald Trump Jr could be prosecuted for violating campaign finance laws, depending on what he knew about what the payments were intended for, said lawyer Andy Wright, who served as associate counsel to former president Barack Obama.

Stormy Daniels, an adult film star and director whose real name is Stephanie Clifford is interviewed by Anderson Cooper of CBS News’ 60 Minutes show in March 2018. Photograph: CBSNews/60 Minutes/Handout/Reuters
Stormy Daniels, an adult film star and director whose real name is Stephanie Clifford is interviewed by Anderson Cooper of CBS News’ 60 Minutes show in March 2018. Photograph: CBSNews/60 Minutes/Handout/Reuters

Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for Trump Jr, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for Mr Trump, declined to immediately comment on Mr Cohen’s testimony.

Mr Cohen pleaded guilty in August to campaign finance violations over his arranging payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

On Wednesday, Mr Cohen said Mr Trump directed him to use his own funds from a home equity line of credit to pay Ms Daniels to avoid any money being traced back to Mr Trump.

Mr Cohen said he was going to jail, in part, because of his decision “to help Mr Trump hide that payment from the American people before they voted a few days later.” – Rueters