The Trump Organization could face criminal charges from the Manhattan district attorney’s office in connection with Michael Cohen’s $130,000 payment to the adult film star Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels.
The investigation would focus on how the Trump Organization accounted for reimbursing Cohen after he made this payment, according to the New York Times. The office is still extremely early in its review of the issue, and prosecutors have not yet decided whether they will move forward with it.
The Trump Organization cited the reimbursement as a legal expense, but Cohen said that he had paid Clifford for her silence during the 2016 presidential campaign. Federal prosecutors said Cohen did no legal work related to the payment.
Cohen pleaded guilty to counts of fraud and campaign finance violations on Tuesday, both felonies. He also sold his stakes in apartment buildings at 133 Avenue D and 330 East 63rd Street for $12.9 million.
The New York State attorney general’s office is also moving to investigate whether Cohen violated state tax law. President Trump has discussed pardoning some of his aides facing federal charges, but he would not have the authority to pardon those who are convicted of state crimes. [NYT] – Eddie Small