The key detail in Ronan Farrow's stunning report on Michael Cohen's finances

Posted May 18, 2018

Daniels is seeking to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement that bars the actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, from talking publicly about a sexual encounter she says she had with Trump in 2006 in Lake Tahoe.

The disclosures report states: "Mr Cohen sought reimbursement of those expenses and Mr Trump fully reimbursed Mr Cohen in 2017".

A lawyer who purports to represent the interests of unnamed women "sexually victimized" by former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman took aim Thursday at lawyer Michael Avenatti to bolster his motion for a protective order. That revelation came after months of denials from Trump that he knew anything about the payment.

The pressure of living under special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation appears to be getting to President Donald Trump's lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, according to a report from Vanity Fair.

Cohen is under investigation by USA authorities over possible bank and tax fraud, along a separate probe into possible collusion between Russian Federation and Trump aides during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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On Wednesday, he told CNN that the financial disclosure form Trump's required to send to the Office of Government Ethics was the reason he went public with the news.

At the same time, prosecutors are investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, possible campaign law violations linked to a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, and perhaps other matters related to Trump's presidential campaign, a person familiar with the probe has said.

The official, who has spent a career in law enforcement, told me, "I have never seen something pulled off the system".

Trump submitted his financial disclosure form Wednesday, which showed he made a payment to Cohen between $100,001 and $250,000 in 2017.

The latest ethics disclosure did not describe the objective or the recipient of the original 2016 payment to a "third party" made by Mr Cohen, for which he was reimbursed by Mr Trump.

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But some legal and ethics experts saw a discrepancy with Giuliani's past statements.

Mr Giuliani said the transaction was to keep Ms Daniels quiet about her "false and extortionist accusation" that she had sex with Mr Trump, suggesting her claim could have damaged his candidacy. He can't disclose more than he knows.

"We have not verified the documents", Avenatti cautioned, but added that if the payments are bona fide, the timing of them could be "problematic" for Cohen and Trump.

The newly-released financial documents also offered a glimpse of the performance of two of Trump's flagship hotels: the Trump International Hotel in Washington - which has attracted crowds of lobbyists, lawmakers and foreign governments with business before the federal government, and Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, dubbed the "Winter White House".

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