- A top Democrat is calling for a congressional investigation into whether President Donald Trump broke the law with his financial disclosure.
- The call comes after Trump’s new attorney, Rudy Giuliani, made a series of significant revelations about the hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.
The top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform called for an investigation Friday into whether President Donald Trump broke the law by failing to disclose on his financial disclosure form his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen’s $US130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Rep. Elijah Cummings , in a letter to Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chair of the Oversight Committee, highlighted recent statements from Trump’s new attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Cummings said they were evidence that Trump had failed to disclose the payment as a loan on his financial disclosure, a crime under federal law.
“Although President Trump and Mr. Giuliani appear to be arguing against potential prosecution for illegal campaign donations, they have now opened up an entirely new legal concern – that the President may have violated federal law when he concealed the payment to Ms. Clifford and his reimbursements for this payment by omitting them from his annual financial disclosure form,” Cummings wrote in the letter, which was provided to Business Insider.
Daniels’ real name is Stephanie Clifford.
Cummings cited the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, which requires federal officials to publicly disclose all financial liabilities that could affect their decision-making.
Cummings also pointed to a comment from Walter Shaub, the former head of the Office of Government Ethics. He said Thursday that it was “stunning that we’ve reached the point where the President of the United States appears to have lied to US Office of Government Ethics about a payoff to a porn star.”
Gowdy’s office did not immediately return a request for comment from Business Insider.
Giuliani throws a wrench into the Stormy Daniels saga
Cummings’ letter comes after Giuliani revealed to Fox News host Sean Hannity that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the $US130,000 payment. Cohen had previously said Trump did not reimburse the payment, and Trump had denied all knowledge of the payoff, which was made to Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election.
After his interview with Hannity, Giuliani went on a media blitz in which he said his revelation about the reimbursement was made with Trump’s approval.
Cohen was paid $US35,000 monthly over a year beginning in January 2017 as part of the reimbursement, Giuliani said.
Giuliani told NBC News that Trump learned from his legal team that he had reimbursed Cohen only about a week ago.
Cohen has insisted the payment was not a campaign donation because its purpose was not to boost Trump’s candidacy but to protect his family from damaging information. Cohen and Trump, as well as their aides, have denied that any affair took place.
Giuliani, however, suggested during an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday morning that such an allegation being made public would have been politically damaging to Trump.
Giuliani released a statement Friday saying there was “no campaign violation” because the payment was not made for a campaign purpose but to protect Trump’s family from the allegation getting out.
Read the letter:
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