Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, gained access to as much as $774,000 through two financial transactions during the 2016 presidential campaign as he sought to fix problems for his boss, public records show.
By Michael Rothfeld, Rebecca Davis O’Brien, Mark Maremont and Joe Palazzolo
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, gained access to as much as $774,000 through two financial transactions during the 2016 presidential campaign as he sought to fix problems for his boss, public records show.
Those transactions could factor into a broad investigation of Mr. Cohen’s business affairs being conducted by Manhattan federal prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who are examining whether Mr. Cohen violated any laws in his efforts to raise cash and conceal negative information about Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the matter. Those include transactions tied to his credit line and his ownership of real estate and taxi medallions, the people said.
In February 2016, as Mr. Trump’s fortunes as a presidential candidate rose, Mr. Cohen nearly doubled the amount he could use on a bank credit line tied to his Manhattan apartment, increasing his ability to borrow by $245,000, according to real-estate records.
Three months earlier, he gained potential access to another $529,000, through a new mortgage that he and his wife cosigned on a condominium owned by her parents at Trump World Tower, a Trump building in New York, separate real-estate records show.
Mr. Cohen and his lead attorney didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Cohen, who has described himself as Mr. Trump’s fixer, has said he used his home-equity line of credit to make a $130,000 payment to former adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford—known professionally as Stormy Daniels—in exchange for her agreeing less than two weeks before the presidential election to stay silent about an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said this week that Mr. Cohen resolved other problems similarly for Mr. Trump, although he didn’t specify what they were or the source of funds that were used. Continue