Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, said in a Monday interview that the $130,000 nondisclosure payment he made to adult film star Stormy Daniel in October of 2016 had nothing to do with the November election.
“People are mistaking this for a thing about the campaign,” Cohen said.
“What I did defensively for my personal client, and my friend, is what attorneys do for their high-profile clients. I would have done it in 2006. I would have done it in 2011. I truly care about him and the family — more than just as an employee and an attorney,” he said.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, filed a lawsuit earlier this month to void the agreement that she says prevents her from speaking publicly about an affair with Trump, which she says took place more than ten years ago.
Cohen has continually said that he paid Daniels the $130,000 out of his own pocket and was not reimbursed.
Democrats and election watchdog groups maintain the payment, which came shortly after Trump’s infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, could violate campaign finance laws if it was intended to have an impact on the vote.
Daniels has offered to return the money if she could then speak publicly about the relationship with Trump. Her lawyer said that Trump and Cohen did not meet the deadline to have the money returned.
The White House has denied the affair with Daniels.
President Trump accused Daniels in court papers filed last week of repeatedly violating the nondisclosure agreement. He is seeking $20 million in damages.
Cohen said that any money won from Daniels would be used to pay lawyers first, then donated to various charities.
“You know what?” Cohen said. “The more I’m thinking about it; I might even take an extended vacation on her dime.”
Daniels, who claimed through her attorney that she’s been physically threatened over the allegations, has set up a legal defense for her expenses.
She has given an interview to “60 Minutes” set to air Sunday evening.
Credit: The Hill