White House

Michael Cohen’s Pockets

Michael Cohen, personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives to appear before Senate Intelligence Committee staff as the panel investigates alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

It is being widely reported that Michael Cohen says that he paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket. Orin Kerr looks carefully at Cohen’s statement, though, and notices that he doesn’t actually say that. He says he used his “own personal funds to facilitate” the payment, and specifies two organizations that did not reimburse him. If Cohen wanted to craft a lawyerly statement that left the impression that he had paid $130,000 to Daniels out of his own pocket and been reimbursed by nobody, but wanted to avoid actually saying that because it isn’t true, he would have crafted a statement like the one he provided.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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