Walter Shaub Statement on Release of President Trump Disclosure Form

May 16, 2018
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Walter Shaub, senior director, ethics at Campaign Legal Center (CLC) released the following statement:

“The release of President Trump’s financial disclosure report today confirms that his debt to Michael Cohen should have been disclosed in last year’s report. It bears an annotation on the cover page by OGE stating as much. President Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, claims the president didn’t know about the payment when he filed that report last year, but this explanation seems implausible. For one thing, Giuliani admits that the president started repaying his debt to Cohen months before he filed his financial disclosure report. 

In this context, we at Campaign Legal Center were heartened to see that the acting Director of the Office of Government Ethics, David Apol, referred the matter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. It remains to be seen whether the Department of Justice (DOJ) will step up and do its job. 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. I note that 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.” 

Read the letter sent by OGE to Rod Rosenstein.

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