Fordham confirms Cohen threatened legal action if it released Trump's grades, SAT scores

Fordham University is confirming Michael Cohen’s claim that he threatened to take legal action against the New York school if it released then-candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens MORE's academic records during the presidential campaign.

Fordham spokesman Bob Howe confirmed to The Associated Press that Trump’s legal team threatened action if any records were released.

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Howe said a Trump attorney later sent a follow-up letter “summarizing the call and reminding us that they would take action against the university if we did, in fact, release Mr. Trump’s records.”

During his public testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday, Cohen gave Congress a letter he said he wrote to the president of Fordham University in May 2015.

Cohen warned the university in the letter that several media outlets that requested Trump’s records had already been denied access to the records by his legal team. The letter also warned that Trump’s legal team would hold the school liable “to the fullest extent of the law” if it released his student records, which are protected by federal law.

In the letter, Cohen also warned that the school could face “both criminal and civil liability and damages including, among other things, substantial fines, penalties and even the potential loss of government aid and other funding” if it violated the then-presidential candidate's confidentiality. 

“This criminality will lead to jail time,” Cohen stated in the letter.

Cohen told Congress on Wednesday that Trump directed him to threaten his high school, college and the College Board to prevent his grades and SAT scores from being released.

“I’m talking about a man who declares himself brilliant, but directed me to threaten his high school, his colleges and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores,” Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, said during the hearing.

Cohen, 52, was sentenced to three years in prison last year for charges including lying to Congress, which is a felony. He is scheduled to report to prison next month.

The president attended the New York Military Academy in 1964 and enrolled in Fordham University shortly after, which he attended from 1964 to 1966. He later transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, which he attended from 1966 to 1968 and received his degree. 

A spokesperson from the New York Military Academy told The Associated Press that school officials have no past records of communication with Trump’s legal team. The University of Pennsylvania and the College Board, which is tasked with administering SAT exams, declined the news agency’s request for comment.