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Trump signed off on Michael Cohen’s invoices after they were sent to White House, accountant says

Prosecutors in Trump’s criminal trial on Monday called to the stand a current Trump Organization accountant as part of an effort to show that the former president was intimately involved in an illicit hush money scheme.

Deborah Tarasoff is currently an accounts payable supervisor at the Trump Organization, which she testified is paying for her legal counsel. That’s also where she worked in 2016 and 2017, when the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office charges that Trump conspired with his former fixer, Michael Cohen, to falsify business records and cover up a $130,000 hush payment to Stormy Daniels, an adult film star, in violation of campaign finance laws.

Prosecutors began Monday’s afternoon session by asking Tarasoff about Allen Weisselberg, the former Trump Organization chief financial officer who is currently serving a jail sentence at Rikers Island. “He had his hands in everything,” Tarasoff said.

That comment came after a former Trump Organization controller, Jeffrey McConney, testified earlier in the day that Weisselberg had directed him to make monthly $35,000 payments to Cohen in what were labeled “legal expenses” but which prosecutors say was reimbursement for the money and time he invested in buying the rights to Daniels’ story. McConney also noted that most payments to Cohen came from Trump’s personal bank account.

But, Tarasoff testified, it was Trump and his sons who had to approve the payment of any invoice of $10,000 or more; in the former president’s case, he always used a black Sharpie, and would write “VOID” if he didn’t want to approve a payment.

Prosecutors then introduced as evidence a check stub for the first payment to Cohen, totaling $70,000 to cover January and February 2017, and signed by Weisselberg and Eric Trump, CNN reported.

Of the $420,000 total paid to Cohen, $105,000 came from a Trump trust; the rest came from his personal bank account. After he became president, Tarasoff testified that invoices and checks that Trump needed to sign would be sent via FedEx to the White House.

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