David Apol: Trump is NOT above the law #StormyGate
Trump just disclosed his debt to Michael Cohen for the Stormy Daniels payment on his new financial disclosure. So why didn’t he disclose it last year?
“President Donald Trump has now admitted repaying Michael Cohen more than $100,000 for the Stormy Daniels hush money on his new financial disclosure form — but the admission may have gotten him into even more legal trouble.”
That’s because David Apol, the acting director of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), is disputing Trump’s assertion that he wasn’t required to report the debt — and has sent along the matter for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to look into.
Walter Shaub — Apol’s predecessor at the Office of Government Ethics, who resigned last year after clashes with Trump officials and has frequently criticized Trump in the media since.
This is tantamount to a criminal referral. OGE has effectively reported the president to DOJ for potentially committing a crime. Dave Apol comes through in the end!!
Walter Shaub @waltshaub –
“Trump decided to try to have it both ways.”
In the form, his team does not disclose the Cohen debt alongside Trump’s other liabilities. Instead, they mention it at the bottom of the relevant page in a note saying it was fully paid back in 2017. They claim that they don’t believe Trump was legally required to disclose this, but that “in the interest of transparency,” they’ve decided to do so anyway.
But the OGE didn’t buy their argument. Acting Director Apol added his own note stating that the Cohen payment information “is required to be reported” and should have been listed by Trump as a reportable liability.
And Apol didn’t stop there. He publicly released a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein making OGE’s position clear — that “the payment made by Mr. Cohen is required to be reported as a liability.”
What will Jeff Sessions’ JUSTICE Department do?