Trump isn’t in a position where he can lie about his hush money: Michael Cohen
President Donald Trump and adult actress Stormy Daniels, in a 2006 Myspace photo.

Former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen went to prison for making the hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels, but National Enquirer chief David Pecker never had any consequences for his hush-money payments to other affairs Trump was trying to cover up.

The New York Times revealed today that the New York grand jury is beginning to navigate Trump's personal expenditures and his role in sketchy business practices that resulted in more than a dozen guilty verdicts against his companies. Cohen explained that he's been working with the Manhattan DA recently on the case, meeting with Alvin Bragg specifically. Until the guilty convictions, Bragg was ignoring many of the things that Cohen had been telling his office about Trump's potentially illegal behavior.

Cohen told Raw Story in Oct. 2022 that Trump took the hush-money payments to Daniels as a tax write-off. Trump biographer David Cay Johnston explained in Dec. 2022 it was just the tip of the iceberg of Trump's tax losses that he knew were fraudulent.

The Times' Suzanne Craig has said that they have been unable to find the things Cohen is referring to and asked while the two appeared on MSNBC together how he knows about the tax write-off and how it may have been hidden.

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"He said Trump didn't declare it in the way he should have, he didn't record the payment in the way he should have, I'm curious what Michael knows about it," she asked.

Cohen explained that he had heard about some of the things in conversations with prosecutors about things that were not properly disclosed in Trump's tax forms. "Somehow," Cohen said of Trump, "he believed that you can take this as a deduction, which obviously you can't."

"But your understanding is somewhere put in as a business expense?" Craig asked and Cohen agreed, noting that it was either categorized as a legal expense or reimbursement.

"That's why every single month they'd have me do this as a legal retainer, to which then days or weeks later I would receive the check for that month," said Cohen. "It's not as if he was paying me legitimately."

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"The payment was buried through your legal fees that you were getting after 2017?" Craig asked.

"The alleged legal fees. Basically, what he did and this was in conjunction with Allen Weisselberg, they took the money owed to me and divided it by 12. They gave me $35,000 per month, and that $35,000 was supposed to represent legal fees and obviously, they knew exactly in advance what they intended to do and to deduct the legal fees as a business expense."

Craig said that what it will come down to is making sure the documents are gathered to prove this, and the evidence to prove this. She noted that she's keeping an eye on Weisselberg specifically because he's been uncooperative thus far.

While Cohen was unable to speak about a lot of what the DA has, he made one thing clear: "Donald will ultimately be held accountable for this Stormy Daniels payment and I've always said that this investigation that was to be brought by Alvin Bragg's office is the most detrimental to him, his freedom, his livelihood, his business, et cetera, because it's the easiest to prove. The checks are the checks. We know a lot. There are recordings, which have been released in the past. This is an easy one."

There are other cases, he said, like the one in Georgia, which seems more difficult.

See the discussions below or at the link here.

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Michael Cohen and Suzanne Craig discuss Trump's taxes