The lawyer handling the Stormy Daniels scandal for President Donald Trump’s corporate and personal representative, Michael Cohen, comes from the same small New York law firm that earned thousands of dollars from the Trump campaign at the end of last year.
Cohen’s use of a law firm connected to Trump’s campaign and his company further blurs the line that Cohen is trying to draw in arguing that his payments to Stormy have no involvement of the president.
The law firm LaRocca Hornik Rosen Greenberg & Blaha has worked for the Trump campaign since fall 2016, and the Trump Organization for years. The law firm earned roughly $30,500 from Trump’s presidential campaign fund in October and November 2017.
That was a jump from the previous payment it received from the campaign in September 2017, when it took in about $2,400, according to Federal Election Commission records.
A year earlier, in the weeks around the presidential election, the law firm received five total payments from the Trump campaign, totaling about $81,000.
LaRocca Hornik partner Larry Rosen told CNN in an email Friday that the firm’s late 2017 earnings from the Trump campaign were unrelated to Daniels “nor have we ever represented the Trump campaign in any way related to Ms. Clifford.” (Stephanie Clifford is the porn star’s legal name; her stage name is Stormy Daniels.)
He declined to say what the Trump campaign paid for the law firm to do last year. Rosen added that his firm is currently representing Cohen’s company Essential Consultants in arbitration over the hush agreement and the payment it used for Daniels.
It is not yet known who is defending Trump in a lawsuit Clifford filed against him and Cohen’s company this week.
LaRocca Hornik defended Trump, his companies and his bodyguard-turned-White House aide Keith Schiller in a lawsuit in 2015, after protesters said they were attacked by Trump’s security outside Trump Tower. The case is ongoing.
The firm was also the Trump Organization’s counsel when Time magazine and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press sought in 2016 and last year to unseal records from a union workers’ class action suit in the 1980s. The class action ended decades ago in a $1.4 million settlement paid by Trump’s companies, and the journalists were able to convince a judge last fall to unseal some of the records from the case.
Trump campaign payment records do not indicate from which matters LaRocca Hornik earned campaign money, though it’s clear the firm’s lawyers work for both the President’s corporate and personal interests, as well as associates and his political campaign.
Cohen, the personal lawyer to the President, has insisted the payment made to Clifford as part of a nondisclosure agreement to keep silent her alleged relationship with Trump was not a campaign contribution, even though she received it days before the 2016 election.
Clifford sued in Los Angeles this week after Trump’s lawyer attempted to use an arbitration proceeding against her.
LaRocca Hornik’s offices, housing 10 lawyers, are located in the Trump Building on Wall Street in New York. The firm handles commercial legal issues and operates alongside a divorce and family law practice.
On Thursday, following White House press secretary Sarah Sanders’ direction to ask lawyers outside the White House about arbitration against Daniels, Rosen said on Cohen’s behalf that they “continue to categorically refute the claims alleged by Ms. Clifford and her counsel.”