Late Friday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported that President Donald Trump's attorney Michael Cohen secured $774,000 worth of cash as the 2016 campaign progressed — funding that is likely tied to the hush money payment made to Stephanie Clifford. Cohen has said he paid Clifford, a porn star better known as Stormy Daniels, $130,000 just days before the election, which some argue raises serious questions about campaign finance laws.
The Journal reports that Cohen obtained this credit "as he sought to fix problems for his boss," first in December 2015 and then again in February 2016 — a point at which it was becoming clear that Trump was a serious contender for the presidency. If, as seems possible, Cohen planned to use this money to help Trump's electoral chances through payments to people like Clifford, it could potentially be seen as an effort to skirt campaign spending and reporting regulations.
Gloria Borger, a chief political analyst for CNN, explained to Anderson Cooper that what she found most interesting about the reporting is "the money, that Cohen started receiving, was around February 2016... was when his fortunes and his poll numbers started to rise as a presidential candidate. We know that he won the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9, for example. He became, suddenly, a serious candidate out of all these 17 candidates, and nobody was dismissing him anymore."
She continued: "I think you have to ask the question about why anybody would need access to the cash, and I think they're going to be looking into, according to the Wall Street Journal, you know, bank fraud, about whether Cohen was misstating the reasons he needed it."
Watch the clip below:
"I think they're going to be looking into ... bank fraud, about whether Cohen was misstating the reasons he needed [the money]." pic.twitter.com/D9ko0SpXNK
— AlterNet (@AlterNet) May 5, 2018