I’ve never heard of an attorney paying for their client’s sexual encounters. However, if you are to believe President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, he said Tuesday he paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to a porn actress who was working as a prostitute in 2006.
Michael Cohen said in a statement to The New York Times that he was not reimbursed by the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign for the payment to Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
Cohen wrote, “The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”
Cohen told the Times he had delivered a similar statement to the Federal Election Commission in response to a complaint filed by Common Cause, a government watchdog group.
Common Cause had asked the FEC to investigate the source of the $130,000 payment and determine whether it represented an excessive campaign contribution. Cohen told the Times, “The allegations in the complaint are factually unsupported and without legal merit.”
The Wall Street Journal reported in January that Cohen had arranged the payment to Clifford in October 2016 to keep her from publicly discussing the alleged sexual encounter during the presidential campaign.
Here’s the problem: if this was to cover up a crime, such as prostitution, it would be illegal under most State Laws. It’s a legal maxim, particularly in the post-Watergate era, that often the cover-up is worse than the crime. But cover-up crimes are the Rodney Dangerfield of the white collar world: they don’t get any respect. You frequently hear them derided as “gotcha” crimes, or as something prosecutors charge only when they can’t “get” a defendant for anything else.
There is a widespread perception that these crimes are somehow less serious than many other white collar offenses. They aren’t.
Trump Caught On Tape: Trump Lies About Wealth
Donald Trump lied (above) about his wealth to get on the Forbes 400, the business magazine’s ranking of the world’s richest people, posing as publicist ‘John Barron’ to do so.
Writes Jonathan Greenberg in the Washington Post:
…it took decades to unwind the elaborate farce Trump had built to project an image as one of the richest people in America. Nearly every assertion supporting that claim was untrue. Trump wasn’t just poorer than he said he was. Over time I have learned that he should not have been on the first three Forbes 400 lists at all. In our first-ever list, in 1982, we included him at $100 million, but Trump was actually worth roughly $5 million — a paltry sum by the standards of his super-monied peers — as a spate of government reports and books showed only much later.
When Trump was campaigning for president, it was revealed that he masqueraded as his own spokesman earlier in his career to brag about his accomplishments, his wealth, and his alleged desirability to famous women.
In May 2016, The Washington Post published an audio recording of a 1991 call from a man claiming to be on Trump’s PR team, who responded to a request from People magazine reporter Sue Carswell for a comment on Trump’s divorce from wife Ivana and his increasingly complicated relationship with model Marla Maples.
As “John Miller”, Trump touted his reputation as a playboy, explaining that famous actresses and even the likes of Madonna call him wanting to date him.
Trump using the pseudonyms John Miller and John Barron was a fact well-known among New York journalists at the time. Trump would eventually admit that the call to People was a “joke gone awry.” And prior to that call, in 1990, Trump said of the name ‘John Miller,’ “I believe on occasion I used that name.”
Trump denied that fact:
In a phone call to NBC’s “Today” program, Trump denied that he was John Miller. “No, I don’t think it — I don’t know anything about it. You’re telling me about it for the first time and it doesn’t sound like my voice at all,” he said. “I have many, many people that are trying to imitate my voice and then you can imagine that, and this sounds like one of the scams, one of the many scams — doesn’t sound like me.” Later, he was more definitive: “It was not me on the phone. And it doesn’t sound like me on the phone, I will tell you that, and it was not me on the phone. And when was this? Twenty-five years ago?”
Trump continues to lie to this day, though there appears to be little to no consequence.
Pruitt Asks Trump to Make Him Attorney General
While its very possible that Scott Pruitt will not survive being the EPA Director for another week, he has being lobbying Trump for another job as Attorney General.
Yes, the man who is now under Investigation by the EPA Inspector General for using millions of tax payers money for his own person first class travel, believes he should be rewarded with a new job as the top cop.
Current AG Sessions has recused himself from investigations into Russia’s ties to the campaign of President Donald Trump, effectively prohibiting Sessions from firing Mueller. Pruitt, who has not recused himself, would seemingly not face the same constraints.
Switching out Sessions for Pruitt could have its pitfalls. Pruitt would face a tough confirmation hearing in the Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority and Democrats would interrogate him about Russia, his EPA tenure and other thorny topics.
Trump Now Hiring From Disney Channel
Telling staff he wants more “hot young women” in his office, Trump is hiring a 22-year old Disney Channel star is making the leap from entertainment to the White House.
Caroline Sunshine, 22, has joined the Trump White House as a press assistant, ABC News has learned.
While she may be known for her acting, Sunshine has interned for the White House, the Office of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the College Republican National Committee and the California Republican Party, White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters told ABC News. She was also involved in the American Enterprise Institute and her school’s Model United Nations team.
Before transitioning to politics, Sunshine spent three seasons playing Tinka Hessenheffer on the Disney Channel sitcom “Shake It Up.” Her other television credits include “A.N.T. Farm” and “Fish Hooks” on Disney Channel and appearances in “The Outfield,” “Marmaduke” and other films.