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Disclosure of Cohen payment raises new legal questions

Disclosure of Cohen payment raises new legal questions

Novartis AG said Wednesday its general counsel is retiring from the company in connection with its $1.2 million payments to a company owned by Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, as the Swiss drugmaker battles to contain the fallout from the arrangement. Rounding out the tally were interviews on ABC (six), CBS (five) and NBC (four), with only one interview on Fox News Channel.

The ethics office seemed to disagree, annotating the document: "OGE has concluded that the information related to the payment made by Mr. Cohen is required to be reported and that the information provided meets the disclosure requirement for a reportable liability". The president's failure to disclose that he repaid Cohen for the pre-election payout to Daniels has now been referred to the Department of Justice.

Cohen founded Essential Consultants in October 2016 to make a $130,000 payment to Daniels.

He added that he doesn't agree with the ethics office's contention that the payments had to be disclosed.

For operating New York's Wollman Rink in Central Park, the president took in $9.3 million.

Two allegedly missing financial reports show roughly $3 million worth of previously undisclosed financial transactions linked to Michael Cohen, the longtime attorney to President Donald Trump who is now the subject of a federal criminal investigation over his business dealings.

Of course, it should be noted that DOJ policy says that a sitting president can not be indicted with criminal charges, but Shaub also raised the issue of a possible civil issue. "But there's at least two that I think are on solid ground", lawyer Michael Avenatti said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe".

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CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement that the liability revelation suggested that the watchdog was correct in its March complaint, raising concerns around why it was not disclosed in the prior year's filing.

While Trump's annual ethics disclosure reveals information about his personal finances, it lacks details of the sort found in an income tax return.

The president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told Business Insider that Trump's disclosure of the payment on the 2018 report "vindicates" their position on the payment.

The form also shows the President's golf courses missed par past year earning $67 million less than before he took office.

Some of the 12-month figures for his properties are down from his previous report, but that earlier report covered about 16 months and so it is not directly comparable. One of his biggest lenders is Ladder Capital, which has lent more than $100 million.

Cohen also stands accused of seeking to cash in on his proximity to the president, after it emerged he received millions of dollars from a Russian oligarch and major corporations seeking access to the administration. The president has appeared in several movies, including Home Alone 2 and Zoolander.