Michael Cohen says he paid tech firms to rig online polls 'at the direction of' Trump

NBC News

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, confirmed on Thursday that he paid a small tech firm to rig online polls before the 2016 presidential campaign got underway "at the direction of and the sole benefit of" Trump.


Trevor Potter, a campaign finance lawyer and former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, told NBC News that Cohen's payment to the tech firm should have been accounted for and disclosed in campaign reports because Trump was "testing the waters" for a White House bid at the time, meaning exploring a candidacy but not yet declared. A search of FEC records showed no indication of a disclosure.

“Once he became a candidate, this should have been reported as an in-kind contribution to the campaign, because it is required to report all testing expenditures and contributions on its initial FEC reports upon qualifying as a candidate," Potter said.

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