Trump lists reimbursement to Cohen; ethics office says disclosure was required

Executive Branch

- Trump lists reimbursement to Cohen; ethics office says disclosure was required

President Donald Trump/Shutterstock.com.

President Donald Trump’s latest financial disclosure form reports that he paid more than $100,000 to his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, as reimbursement for a payment to a third party.

Press coverage says the disclosure is an apparent reference to a reimbursement for Cohen’s $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels as part of a hush-money agreement. The Washington Post, Politico, BuzzFeed News, Bloomberg, the New York Times and USA Today have coverage.

The Office of Government Ethics released the disclosure form on Wednesday

The form says the reimbursement amount was between $100,001 and $250,000. The reimbursement was paid in full in 2017, and Cohen had requested the money for expenses incurred in 2016.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has contended that Trump should have reported the reimbursement last year. The Ethics in Government Act requires the president to disclose any liabilities that total more than $10,000 that occurred in the previous year, according to BuzzFeed News.

Trump’s latest form said the reimbursement was being reported “in the interest of transparency,” though it did not have to be disclosed as a reportable liability. Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has characterized the repayment as taken from funds paid as a retainer for Cohen’s legal services that didn’t have to be listed as a debt, according to the BuzzFeed story.

The ethics office, however, said it has concluded “that the information related to the payment made by Mr. Cohen is required to be reported and that the information provided meets the disclosure requirement for a reportable liability.”

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The disclosure shows Trump had at least $511 million in income in 2017, according to Bloomberg.


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Edward Lott, Ph.D., M.B.A. is president and managing partner of Allentown-based ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing, Inc., a local search and digital marketing agency that offers clients lead generation, local seo and Google Maps Domination. Ed has been a digital entrepreneur since 1994, having discovered very early the opportunities the Internet offered. After having spent over two decades helping attorneys grow their practice, Ed joined the staff of ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing as President and Managing Partner, where he is expanding the agency’s cutting-edge services to the legal market. A true marketing futurist, Ed's vast experience working directly with attorneys has given him a unique perspective on law firm marketing not found in many other digital marketing agencies. Ed has reshaped the offerings of ForLawFirmsOnly to focus on growing law firms through a holistic approach to digital marketing evident in the reformulated lead generation processes now in place. Want to learn more about ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing, their lead generation programs, or just talk to Ed about his visions for helping law firms grow? Call him at 855-943-8736.

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