Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
A newly unearthed letter suggests Michael Cohen, a former attorney for then-President Donald Trump and the man whose testimony figures to be central in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against Trump should charges be filed, has told authorities conflicting stories about the nature of $130,000 that was allegedly sent to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016.
The New York Post was the first to report that Cohen, through his attorney, told the Federal Election Commission in a 2018 letter that Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, had received more than $100,000 in exchange for not disclosing an affair between her and Trump (the former president denies having engaged in such activity).
If one compares Cohen’s statements in 2018 to what came later, one thing seems certain — his story has not been consistent.
In the letter, Cohen’s attorney Stephen Ryan indicates that Cohen “used his own personal funds to facilitate a payment” to Clifford.
“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed Mr. Cohen for the payment directly or indirectly,” the letter continues.
🚨BREAKING: New Bombshell Document DESTROYS Manhattan DA’s Case Against Trump
2018 Letter from Michael Cohen’s lawyer to the FEC declares Cohen used his own personal funds to pay Stormy Daniels. Trump Camp. NOT party to transaction, did NOT reimburse Cohen for payment. It’s OVER pic.twitter.com/QacsjSbZAz
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) March 22, 2023
This is in contrast to what Cohen later alleged. About six months after the letter, and as part of a plea deal, Cohen said that his payment constituted a crime in the form of an illegal campaign contribution.
Cohen further attested that he used a shell company to pay the adult film actress, then recouped his $130,000 plus bonuses and fees, resulting in an ultimate payout of $420,000 from the Trump Organization and Trump Campaign.
“Wow, look what was just found — A Letter from Cohen’s Lawyer to the Federal Election Commission,” Trump posted on Truth Social Wednesday night. “This is totally exculpatory, and must end the Manhattan District Attorney’s Witch Hunt, immediately. Cohen admits that he did it himself. The D.A. should get on with prosecuting violent criminals, so people can walk down the sidewalks of New York without being murdered!”
At a minimum, the 2018 letter should prove a massive tool in Trump’s defense should Bragg file charges. Trump’s attorneys would have a relatively simple task of attacking Cohen’s credibility. But, it remains to be seen if a filing will ultimately occur.
Wednesday began with some speculation that an announcement from Bragg’s office was imminent, but ended with the unexpected cancellation of a planned grand jury meeting.
As of this writing, Bragg has not commented on the latest development.
CLOSE TO A ‘CHARGING DECISION’
Meanwhile, Trump received less welcome news in his classified federal documents probe.
Wednesday, a federal appeals court ruled that a Trump lawyer must turn over documents related to the probe into his retention of presidential classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago home last year. Trump’s team had fought against this citing attorney-client privilege.
The judge’s ruling appears to favor the prosecutor’s assertion that Trump had used his legal team to further a crime and “intentionally conceal” evidence, which would enact the “crime fraud” exception to attorney-client privilege.
Former federal prosecutor Scott Fredericksen told CBS News, “If this results in Trump’s attorney going in to testify, I think that means we are very closing to a charging decision.”
The sealed order was issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.