Donald Trump's lawyer may be the worst fixer ever: report

An LLC was created in Delaware by Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's lawyer, to pay hush money to a porn star

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published January 19, 2018 10:49AM (EST)

Michael Cohen (AP/Andrew Harnik)
Michael Cohen (AP/Andrew Harnik)

A new report reveals that Donald Trump's lawyer created a limited liability corporation less than one month before the 2016 presidential election in order to pay $130,000 of hush money to a porn star believed to have had sex with the future president — and listed himself on the founding documents

Michael Cohen created Essential Consultants LLC in Delaware on Oct. 17, 2016, according to The Wall Street Journal. Cohen then used a bank account linked to the newly established firm to pay $130,000 to "Peggy Peterson," a false name established for Stormy Daniels (whose real name is Stephanie Clifford). The advantage of doing this in Delaware is that the state doesn't force LLCs to publicly disclose who is managing them and has a simpler process for creating those companies than many other states.

Although Cohen did not make his involvement in Essential Consultants LLC easily discernible, he listed his own name as the “authorized person” for the company rather than hiring a lawyer or agent to do so. That’s what allowed the Journal to track his involvement.

Cohen is believed to worked out the details of a nondisclosure agreement with Clifford's lawyer Keith Davidson in October 2016 out of concern that Clifford was about to come forward on ABC's "Good Morning America" with a rumored sexual encounter she had had with Trump, according to the Journal. On Friday, InTouch magazine published an interview with Clifford in which she described the encounter.

Cohen said that Trump — and Clifford — denied the encounter took place. "You’re [sic] obsessive drive to prove a false narrative, one that has been rebuked by all parties, must come to an end," he told the Journal.


By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2016 Presidential Election Donald Trump Michael Cohen Stephanie Clifford Stormy Daniels