Justice Dept. probing leak of Michael Cohen financial info: report

Getty Images

The Department of Justice is investigating a leak last year of personal financial information relating to Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, CNN reported Wednesday.

Financial information about Cohen became public last year after Michael Avenatti, a lawyer representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against the president and Cohen, published a memo online.

The document posted in May showed that Cohen set up a corporation called Essential Consultants LLC through which he received money from AT&T and other companies.

{mosads}Essential Consultants was also used to pay Daniels $130,000, according to the documents. The payment was intended to keep Daniels quiet about an alleged affair with Trump in 2006 that he has denied.

Federal prosecutors in California are reportedly spearheading the investigation into the leak of the financial information, and could bring criminal charges soon, according to CNN. The network did not report on the specific timing of any announcement.

It was not clear where Avenatti got the documents, but the New Yorker published an interview with a “law enforcement official” who anonymously claimed responsibility for the leak.

They official claimed to have leaked the documents after being concerned about an inability to find suspicious activity reports about Cohen’s transactions.

“I have never seen something pulled off the system,” the official said. “That system is a safeguard for the bank. It’s a stockpile of information. When something’s not there that should be, I immediately became concerned.”

“That’s why I came forward,” the official added.

The Treasury Department agency charged with policing financial crimes later said that it limits access to such banking records.

Since the leak, Cohen has pleaded guilty to several charges relating to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Russia interfered in the 2016 elections.

Cohen was sentenced in December to three years in federal prison for crimes he committed during his time working for Trump. Cohen, who has reportedly cooperated with Mueller in his probe, is allowed to voluntarily surrender to authorities on March 6.

The Hill has reached out to the DOJ for comment. 

— Updated 4:10 p.m.

Tags Department of Justice DOJ Donald Trump Michael Avenatti Michael Cohen Robert Mueller Stormy Daniels

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video