A new financial disclosure from President Donald Trump acknowledged that he reimbursed his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 payment to an adult-film star just before the 2016 election, the first time the president has officially stated the payment in government disclosures.
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A footnote in Mr. Trump’s 2017 financial disclosure released Wednesday documented a reimbursement of between $100,001 and $250,000 for expenses in 2016 to his attorney for payment to Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels. The payment wasn’t listed in his previous financial disclosure, released last year. Disclosure rules require liabilities to be listed.
The Office of Government Ethics said Wednesday that it considered the payment to Mr. Cohen to be a liability that needed to be disclosed, and flagged the matter to the Justice Department.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Mr. Cohen struck an agreement with Ms. Clifford weeks before the presidential election. Through a limited liability company, Mr. Cohen paid Ms. Clifford $130,000.
Mr. Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said recently that the president paid monthly installments of $35,000 to Mr. Cohen beginning in early 2017 to reimburse him. Mr. Giuliani said he wasn’t aware of whether Mr. Cohen had advised the president about why he had paid Ms. Clifford, who alleged a sexual affair with Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump has denied a relationship with Ms. Clifford.
The Office of Government Ethics’ acting director, David Apol, wrote in a letter Wednesday to Rod Rosenstein, U.S. deputy attorney general, that he was forwarding Mr. Trump’s financial disclosures from this year and last in case there is any open inquiry.
“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 new financial disclosure says.
The letter to Mr. Rosenstein notes that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington had filed a Justice Department complaint in March alleging that Mr. Trump had improperly failed to note the reimbursement to Mr. Cohen in a report he had signed in June 2017.
Presidents aren’t required to submit financial disclosure forms in their first year in office, and Mr. Trump did so voluntarily last year, following the tradition of previous presidents. He certified the form as true. Such a certification means that if a person knowingly included incorrect financial information, the OGE can seek a civil penalty such as a fine or refer the matter to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers didn’t immediately respond to a request to comment.
Overall, the president’s financial picture appeared to remain largely the same as the last time he reported his finances, about a year ago. He listed assets of at least $1.4 billion and income of at least $452 million, slightly less than in his previous financial disclosure—which included several months of 2017 and all of 2016. The new report covers only 2017.
The properties Mr. Trump has frequented as president appear to be driving his income. The Trump International Hotel in Washington produced more than $40.4 million, his Mar-a-Lago private club in Florida more than $25 million, and Trump National Doral golf club near Miami about $75 million—making it potentially his highest-earning asset.
Mr. Trump’s new disclosures include income from several entities that were formed during his presidency, including more than $100,000 in sales from T Retail LLC, which is described as a startup online retail business. He also reported more than $20,000 in management fees from Westminster Hotel Management LLC, an entity created in May 2017.
Although Mr. Trump’s sons are running the business, the president maintains significant ownership, including in entities formed during his time in the White House. Most of the Westminster management company is owned by DJT Holdings LLC, which is in turn owned by the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, one of the primary vehicles for the president’s holdings.
Among other new items, the president reported receiving $1,900 in golf equipment from pro golfers Kevin Streelman and Bryson DeChambeau. Mr. Trump also disclosed an actor’s pension, which was $6,543 in 2017. He also received royalties from appearances in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “The Little Rascals.” First lady Melania Trump reported receiving between $100,000 and $1 million in royalties from Getty Images, an item that wasn’t on previous forms.
Separately, Vice President Mike Pence’s financial disclosure shows that he has more than $100,000 in student loans for his children and at least $15,000 in credit-card debt.
Mr. Pence, a former Indiana governor, has state retirement and pension accounts worth a total of more than $500,000. The only other liquid asset on the report is a bank account with up to $15,000 in it.
Mr. Pence and his family reported receiving up to $50,000 in royalties from “Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President,” a children’s book about the family pet rabbit, which was written by his daughter Charlotte and illustrated by his wife Karen. The Pences have said they are donating the proceeds to charity.
Mr. Pence received more than $20,000 in gifts last year, including three Super Bowl tickets from Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, two tickets to the Indianapolis 500 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and two tickets to an Indianapolis Colts game, which Mr. Pence walked out of to object to players protesting during the national anthem.
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