Trump campaign pays Russia-related legal bills for Michael Cohen

- April 30, 2018

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has paid legal bills related to the ongoing Russia investigations on behalf of Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, a campaign official said on Monday.

The official said the payments were for legal costs Cohen incurred before the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York began investigating the lawyer for a variety of issues, including a 2016 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

“These payments were related strictly to the Russia investigations,” said the campaign official, who declined to be named. An ABC News report first flagged the payments to a law firm representing Cohen on Monday.

So long as the payments pertain to parts of the Russia investigation relating to the 2016 campaign, they are likely legal. Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee also have paid legal fees for Donald Trump Jr. Neither Cohen nor the president's oldest son officially worked for his 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump’s reelection campaign disclosed paying a law firm representing Cohen in the Russia investigation, McDermott Will & Emery, a total of $228,000 for “legal consulting” services in federal election filings. The earliest of the three payments began on Oct. 26 and the most recent payment was in late January, filings show.

Cohen’s attorney, Stephen Ryan, is a partner at McDermott Will & Emery and is representing him in both the Russian investigation and the Southern District of New York probe.


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