The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has concluded that President Trump made a false statement on his 2016 financial disclosure form, which is a crime if it is done knowingly and willfully, and referred the matter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in case it is “relevant to any inquiry you may be pursuing.”
“I am providing both reports to you because you may find the disclosure relevant to any inquiry you may be pursuing regarding the President’s prior report that was signed on June 14, 2017,” the ethics office wrote to Rosenstein.
The OGE said that Michael Cohen’s payment on behalf of Trump, which was used to silence Stormy Daniels, was a debt and therefore required to be reported.
“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 office said in a note on the 2017 form.
The Hill added:
Trump’s representatives disagreed, writing on the form they were not required to disclose the payment but were doing so “in the interest of transparency.”
The president’s team wrote Cohen “sought reimbursement of those expenses and Mr. Trump fully reimbursed Mr. Cohen in 2017.” It listed the value of the reimbursement between $100,001 and $250,000.
Trump filed the form on Tuesday, just ahead of the deadline to submit it. OGE reviewed the document and made it public Wednesday afternoon.