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Mr. Cohen’s statement about what he called “a private transaction” was the first time that he has acknowledged a role in the payment, which was first reported in January by The Wall Street Journal.

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Stephanie Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels, who once claimed to have had an affair with Donald J. Trump.

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Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Mr. Cohen said that he had given a similar statement to the Federal Election Commission in response to a complaint filed by the government watchdog group Common Cause, which filed a complaint saying that the payment, which was made through a limited liability company that Mr. Cohen established, was an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign.

Officials with Common Cause also sought to determine whether the payment was made by the Trump Organization or another person.

“The complaint alleges that I somehow violated campaign finance laws…



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