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    US President Donald Trump (L) and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly wait for a meeting with lawmakers in the Cabinet Room of the White House on September 13, 2017 in Washington, DC.

    Trump Confesses to Crime by Admitting Payment to Daniels - Ex-WH Ethics Chief

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump's statement on a payment to adult film star Stephanie Clifford proves he submitted a false financial form in 2017, former Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub said on Thursday.

    "AMAZING! In trying to talk his way out of a campaign finance violation, Trump has admitted to filing a false financial disclosure in 2017," Shaub wrote in a Twitter post. "He personally certified that his closure was ‘complete and correct."

    Trump on Thursday morning admitted that he repaid his former lawyer Michael Cohen for the expenses he incurred by inking a non-disclosure agreement with Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels.

    READ MORE: Trump Lawyer to Exercise Fifth Amendment Rights in Stormy Daniels Case

    The president said in a series of early morning Twitter posts that Cohen made the payment to stop "false and extortionist accusations" about an affair she claimed she had with Trump. Trump's personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani on Wednesday night said Trump reimbursed between $460,000 and $470,000 in expenses incurred by his former lawyer Michael Cohen.

    Cohen's expenses included a $130,000 "hush money" payment that he made to Clifford to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Trump, Guiliani said.

    Shaub said Trump should have listed the $460,000 in payments that he made to Cohen on his personal financial disclosure form in 2017 since the payment to Daniels was apparently aimed at preventing her from revealing information that could damage Trump's election campaign. Failure to disclose payments related an election campaign would violate US law and could potentially result in criminal prosecution.

    Trump in his Twitter posts on Thursday morning acknowledged making the payments but insisted the money "had nothing to do with the campaign." But Shaub said Trump was simply trying to "talk his way out of a campaign finance violation." California Congressman Ted Lieu said that by writing the Twitter posts, Trump had put himself in the crosshairs of a criminal investigation that New York prosecutors are conducting to uncover any potential crimes committed by Cohen.

    "Giuliani admission that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the illegal in-kind contribution now draws Trump into the investigation," Lieu wrote on Twitter.

    Clifford has filed a lawsuit against Trump in a bid to be released from the nondisclosure agreement she concluded with him, claiming that it has no legal power because Trump never signed it.

    The US president previously claimed he was not aware of the payment made by Cohen to Daniels, which reportedly occurred just days before the 2016 US presidential election.


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