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Did Michael Cohen Lie to the Grand Jury? 2018 Letter From Michael Cohen Claimed Donald Trump Did Not Reimburse Him for Hush Money Paid to Stormy Daniels

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Source: mega

Mar. 22 2023, Published 7:15 p.m. ET

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A shocking 2018 letter from Michael Cohen allegedly contradicts his claim that former client and ex-president Donald Trump facilitated a hush-money payment through his then-lawyer to silence adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Cohen was named a star witness in the prosecution's case into the hush-money probe, but the revelation of the letter could throw a wrench in what many saw as an impending arrest.

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Cohen swore under oath to Congress in 2022 that Trump "asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair," and claimed that "Mr. Trump directed me to use my own personal funds from a Home Equity Line of Credit to avoid any money being traced back to him that could negatively impact his campaign."

While Cohen has claimed that he acted at the behest of Trump when he paid Daniels $130,000 days before the election — and was reimbursed by the former president after he won the election — the contents of the letter stated otherwise.

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On February 8, 2018, Cohen's attorney Stephen Ryan wrote a letter to the Federal Election Commission regarding the alleged hush-money payment and reimbursement.

In the letter, obtained by the Daily Mail, Ryan alleged that "Mr. Cohen used his own personal funds" for the hush-money payment.

"In a private transaction in 2016, before the U.S. presidential election, Mr. Cohen used his own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford," Ryan wrote. "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 was sent in response to an FEC probe that was launched after numerous complaints alleging campaign finance were filed.

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The letter called out the accusations as "entirely speculative" and doubled down on the claim that Cohen was not reimbursed for the $130,000 payment.

"Neither Mr. Cohen nor Essential Consultants LLC made any in-kind contributions to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., or any other presidential campaign committee," Ryan added.

Cohen eventually pled guilty to violating federal campaign finance laws over the hush-money payment.

After he flipped on his former boss, Cohen was named the prosecution's star witness in their case against Trump over the alleged misuse of campaign funds.

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Wednesday's court session was canceled and the New York grand jury was asked to return to court at noon on Thursday, where the prosecution "may present one more witness."

Part of Cohen's testimony under oath, which appeared to starkly contrast the previous letter from his lawyer, included a copy of the wire transfer to Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — and "a copy of a $35,000 check that President Trump personally signed from his personal bank account on August 1, 2017."

Cohen claimed the personal check was from "when he was President of the United States — pursuant to the cover-up, which was the basis of my guilty plea, to reimburse me."

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