* Joe Palazzolo and Michael Rothfeld report that making a hush money payoff to a porn star is more complicated than you might think:
The bank used by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer to wire $130,000 to a former adult-film actress flagged the transaction as suspicious and reported it to the Treasury Department, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The lawyer, Michael Cohen, wired the money to a lawyer for former actress Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, from an account at First Republic Bank . The money was received on Oct. 27, 2016, 12 days before the presidential election, another person familiar with the matter said. It isn’t clear when First Republic reported it to the government as suspicious.
Mr. Cohen said he missed two deadlines earlier that month to make the $130,000 payment to Ms. Clifford because he couldn’t reach Mr. Trump in the hectic final days of the presidential campaign, the person said. […]
After Mr. Trump’s victory, Mr. Cohen complained to friends that he had yet to be reimbursed for the payment to Ms. Clifford, the people said.
We all know Donald Trump’s record on paying back his debts, so Cohen may be out of luck.
* Erika Werner, Damian Paletta, and David Lynch report that Republicans on Capitol Hill aren’t too happy with President Trump’s new tariff:
Congressional Republicans are maneuvering to stop President Trump from levying harsh tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, arguing that the move runs counter to the core of their economic agenda and could even cause political problems heading into the 2018 midterms.
“We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan,” AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), said in a statement Monday. “The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains.”
Members of the House Ways and Means Committee were also circulating a letter criticizing the tariffs while high-ranking Senate Republicans voiced their own opposition. “My constituents are worried about the cost of their beer cans. It’s a concern,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.). “The price of cars. A tariff obviously is going to get passed on to the consumer eventually in the price of goods and that ought to be everybody’s concern.”
How far will they take this opposition? I’m guessing not very far at all.
Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg said Monday that he has been subpoenaed to appear in front of a federal grand jury investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election but that he will refuse to go.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Nunberg said he was asked to come to Washington to appear before the grand jury on Friday. He also provided a copy of what appears to be his two-page grand jury subpoena seeking documents related to President Trump and nine other people, including emails, correspondence, invoices, telephone logs, calendars and “records of any kind.”
Nunberg forwarded an email listed as coming from the office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III seeking his appearance in front of the panel on Friday.
Among those the subpoena requests information about are departing White House communications director Hope Hicks, former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and adviser Roger Stone.
Nunberg said he does not plan to comply with the subpoena, including either providing testimony or documents.
“Let him arrest me,” Nunberg said. “Mr. Mueller should understand I am not going in on Friday.”
How very Trumpian of him. I guess we’ll see if Mueller calls his bluff.
* A new Emerson College poll has Democrat Conor Lamb leading Republican Rick Saccone 48-45 in that special election in Pennsylvania, in a district Trump carried by 20 points.
* Michael Grunwald reports on what life is like as a consumer in the new green economy.