Politico: Ethics Chief Knocks Trump Over Stormy Daniels Payment
The government’s top ethics officer told the Justice Department on Wednesday that President Donald Trump should have disclosed last year that he reimbursed his longtime personal attorney for a “hush money” payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
Still, outside watchdogs saw reason for optimism in the handling of Wednesday’s disclosure.
Walter Shaub, the former head of OGE who is now the senior director of ethics at the Campaign Legal Center, said he is “heartened” that Apol flagged Trump’s disclosure errors to the Justice Department.
“If DOJ investigates and determines that president Trump knew of his debt to Cohen when he filed last year’s report, there will be reason to suspect that his omission of the debt from last year’s report was ‘knowing and willful,’ which would be a crime,” Shaub, who resigned in July 2017, said in a written statement. “No one from the Trump camp asked OGE last year whether the debt was reportable and that, instead, President Trump’s attorney asked OGE to allow him to be the first filer in history to be excused from the obligation to certify that his report was true.”