A newly uncovered email has revealed that President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer used his Trump Organization email while arranging to transfer money into an account at a Manhattan bank before he wired $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels to buy her silence on the eve of the 2016 election, NBC News reported Friday.
The lawyer, Michael Cohen, used the same email account during 2016 negotiations with the actress — whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford — before she signed a nondisclosure agreement, a source familiar with the discussions told NBC News.
The reported use of the email account by attorney Michael Cohen could raise new questions about possible campaign finance law violations.
Cohen has said he used his personal funds to “facilitate” the payment and did not get reimbursed by the Trump Organization or campaign. He has aimed to distance Trump himself from the payment.
Daniels signed a nondisclosure agreement shortly before the 2016 election. Clifford has filed a lawsuit against Trump arguing the agreement is invalid.
The day after the email, Cohen wired money from First Republic to the City National Bank account of lawyer Keith Davidson, who was representing Clifford at the time. According to a 2017 financial disclosure form, Trump has a checking account at First Republic Bank.
This week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen complained to friends that he had not been reimbursed for the money he sent to Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford.
The email “suggests” the funds might have been a Trump Organization account since the correspondence was through Cohen’s Trump email, Clifford’s current attorney, Michael Avenatti, told NBC News. He said it was “curious” that after Cohen got the email, he immediately forwarded it to his personal gmail and then used gmail to forward it to Davidson, presumably to show the money was ready to be wired.
“Mr. Cohen should immediately provide the prior emails [between him and the bank] to show exactly where the money came from,” Avenatti said.
Cohen and Davidson did not respond to requests for comment.