Michael Cohen resigns from Republican National Committee post

Published: Jun. 20, 2018 at 7:10 PM CDT
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President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen has stepped down from a role with the Republican National Committee, multiple sources confirmed to CNN on Wednesday.

An RNC official said chairwoman Ronna McDaniel accepted Cohen's resignation as deputy finance chairman, marking the latest in a string of high-profile departures from the organization's finance committee. Former casino mogul Steve Wynn resigned as finance committee chairman in January as he faced allegations of sexual misconduct.

Another deputy finance chairman, Elliott Broidy, stepped down from his role in April amid reports that he paid off a Playboy playmate with whom he had an affair.

Cohen declined to comment for this story.

Cohen faces a criminal investigation into his business dealings, including a hush money payment he made before the election on Trump's behalf to porn actress Stormy Daniels, although he has not been charged with a crime. Cohen has also been under scrutiny by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Cohen cited those ongoing probes in a resignation email to McDaniel obtained by CNN.

"This important role requires the full time attention and dedication of each member," Cohen wrote. "Given the ongoing Mueller and (Southern District of New York) investigations, that simply is impossible for me to do."

Cohen also criticized the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy that has resulted in the separation of children from their families at the US-Mexico border.

"As the son of a Polish holocaust survivor, the images and sounds of this family separation policy is heart wrenching," Cohen wrote. "While I strongly support measures that will secure our porous borders, children should never be used as bargaining chips."

McDaniel had previously defended Cohen's role with the committee in spite of his mounting legal troubles.

"Michael Cohen has not been charged with anything, he's under investigation," McDaniel told CNN in April after the FBI raided Cohen's office. "I believe in due process, I'm sure you do too, so we'll see what happens."

Although he retained his title, Cohen had not been active on the committee for several months, the RNC official said Wednesday.