Welcome to Rabbit Hole, a breaking-news analysis that helps you get smart on the one story everyone’s obsessing over—for Beast Inside members only.
Michael Cohen has a head full of Trump secrets. So what should Congress ask him first? It’s hard to know where to begin since the president’s former fixer claims he knows about everything from Donald Trump’s mistresses to the shady Russians who claimed they could play matchmaker for a Putin meetup. One place to start would be the checks that Cohen now says Trump signed to keep his affairs quiet.
Who okayed the mistress money? On Tuesday, sources told The Daily Beast that Cohen is going to talk about who signed those reimbursement checks for Trump’s (alleged) mistress hush-money payouts. So who signed them? The money for the payoffs wasn’t his. The Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen, threw in a $60,000 bonus, and had him parcel out the money into $35,000 invoices paid out monthly as part of what prosecutors said was a phoney retainer agreement. The expenses were handled by “Executive-1,” identified as Trump Organization chief financial officer turned cooperating witness Allen Weisselberg—who then asked an anonymous Trump Organization official, dubbed “Executive-2,” to sign off on the payments.