Trump campaign covered some of Cohen’s legal costs: report
President Trump’s campaign has covered some legal costs for Michael Cohen, ABC News reported Monday.
The campaign spent about $228,000 on three payments to McDermott Will and Emery, a law firm that represents Trump’s personal attorney, between October and January.
While the work was listed as “legal consulting” on disclosure forms, sources familiar with the payments told ABC they are related to Cohen’s legal fees in the Russia investigation.
Cohen’s attorney, Stephen Ryan, is a partner at McDermott Will and Emery. Ryan has represented Cohen in both the Russian election interference probe and in the case surrounding a $130,000 payment Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to stay quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.
ABC News noted that it is illegal for campaign funds to be spent for personal use and that Cohen has publicly stated that he was not formally part of the Trump campaign.
However, legal experts told ABC News that if the payments were made to cover legal fees in the investigation to Russian election interference, the campaign would not have violated finance law. Sources also told the network that the payments were not related to Daniels.
A Trump campaign spokesman declined to comment to ABC News. Ryan, Cohen’s attorney at McDermott Will and Emery, also did not return the network’s requests for comment.
The new report comes after federal prosecutors revealed that Cohen is under criminal investigation. The FBI raided Cohen’s office earlier this month, partially on a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller.
Daniels is suing Cohen for defamation for suggesting that she lied about her alleged affair with Trump. Cohen is asserting his Fifth Amendment rights in the lawsuit.
– Updated at 2:13 p.m.