Cohen took out lines of credit for as much as $774K during campaign: report
President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen gained access to roughly $774,000 through two financial transactions during the 2016 campaign, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
According to real estate records cited by the newspaper, during the campaign Cohen nearly doubled how much he could use on a credit line linked to his apartment in Manhattan. The amount rose to $245,000 as Trump’s income grew during the presidential race in February 2016.
Cohen also gained possible access to an additional $529,000 through a mortgage he co-signed with his wife for a condominium owned by her parents at Trump World Tower in late 2015, the Journal reported.
That was in addition to refinancing existing debt on the condo, which his wife’s parents bought in 2004. The Journal reported that it’s unclear whether or how that money was spent.
The Journal reported that the FBI is probing whether Cohen committed bank fraud by making false statements regarding his assets as part of an effort to secure loans. Authorities are also reportedly looking into whether Cohen ever misstated the intended purposes of the loans.
The newspaper said neither Cohen, his lead attorney nor his wife’s parents responded to requests for comment.
The transactions could be investigated by federal prosecutors who are examining Cohen’s business practices, sources told the Journal.
Investigators have been looking at Cohen’s ownership of real estate and New York taxi medallions.
The FBI raided his home, office and hotel room last month, reportedly seeking documents related to a $130,000 payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels shortly before the election.
Cohen previously said he had used his home-equity line of credit to pay Daniels just weeks before the presidential election in exchange for her to stay quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump more than a decade ago.
In an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Wednesday night, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said that Cohen was reimbursed for that payment through a $35,000 monthly retainer from Trump. Giuliani also said that Cohen had used the same method to resolve other issues on Trump’s behalf.
Giuliani, the newest member of Trump’s personal legal team, did not specify what those issues were or where the money came from and on Friday sought to clarify his comments.