Color of Money: Michael Cohen's stunning admission of financial infidelity

Michelle Singletary on

WASHINGTON -- We finally found out why Michael Cohen used a home-equity line of credit to pay hush money to a porn star with whom President Trump allegedly had an affair. And it wasn't just to hide his and Trump's misdeeds from the public or prosecutors.

During Cohen's testimony last week before the House Oversight Committee, the former personal attorney and self-proclaimed "fixer" for Trump explained how he went so far as to create a limited liability company so that he could wire a $130,000 payment to an attorney representing Stormy Daniels, who says she had a sexual relationship with Trump. The money was intended to keep Daniels from going public about the alleged affair during the 2016 election.

Cohen described his deception during questioning by Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill.

"Can you tell us why you decided to use this complicated process to make this payment?" Kelly asked.

I was not expecting what came next.

"The reason that I used the home-equity line of credit as opposed to cash that I had in the same exact bank was that I didn't want my wife to know about it," Cohen said. "She handles all of the banking. And I didn't want her coming to me and asking, 'What's the $130,000 for?'"


Talk about a wow moment.

"I didn't want to explain to her what that payment was about," Cohen said.

It had never made sense to me that Cohen would use a home-equity line of credit to make the payment. One has to wonder: Had Cohen's wife known what was going on, would she have been able to stop him from taking an action that did monumental damage to their family and their finances?

"I am going to jail in part because of my decision to help Mr. Trump hide that payment from the American people before they voted a few days later," Cohen said.


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