Cohen Wasn't the Only One Handling Hush Money

Trump execs could be in hot water
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2018 3:47 AM CDT
Cohen Wasn't the Only One Handling Hush Money
Trump says he knew about the payments "later on."   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Trump is highly unlikely to be indicted under current Justice Department policy—but he's not the only one facing potential repercussions from Michael Cohen's guilty plea to charges violating campaign finance laws. Court documents show that when Cohen was reimbursed by the Trump Organization for hush money payments, it involved what the New York Times describes as "unusual accounting practices, a nonexistent retainer agreement, and equally unusual tax decisions" that raise serious questions about the conduct of multiple people at the Trump Organization. Cohen ended up being reimbursed a total of $420,000 for his $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Tax lawyer Jenny Johnson Ware says the way payments to Daniels were handled was "highly unusual" and could result in "legal exposure" for Trump Organization executives. "Obviously, they are trying to hide something," she tells the Times. "There’s a normal way to do this and then there’s the way they did it." As for Trump, the question of exactly when he knew about payments to Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal will be crucial, the Washington Post reports. Cohen says Trump ordered the payments, but the president told Fox's Ainsley Earhardt on Wednesday that he only knew about them "later on." He added that the payments "didn't come out of the campaign. They came from me." (More Trump Organization stories.)

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