A top Republican fundraiser has stepped down from his position as Republican National Committee deputy finance chair following reports that President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, negotiated a $1.6 million payment on his behalf in 2017.
Elliott Broidy, a 62-year-old investor based in Los Angeles, stepped down Friday just hours after reports indicated that Mr Cohen had negotiated on his behalf after a former Playboy model said he had impregnated her, according to Politico.
The Wall Street Journal originally reported the alleged 2017 payment.
“I acknowledge I had a consensual relationship with a Playboy Playmate,” Mr Broidy said in a statement to that newspaper. ”At the end of our relationship, this woman shared with me that she was pregnant. She alone decided that she did not want to continue with the pregnancy and I offered to help her financially during this difficult period.”
Mr Broidy is the second high-ranking member of the RNC to step down in recent months over alleged sexual behaviour, after Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn resigned earlier this year amid allegations that he had sexually harassed women who had worked for him.
Mr Broidy is known for having played an important role in helping Mr Trump raise money ahead of the 2016 election, and is a member of influential groups with deep connections to titans of the Republican Party.
That includes being a member of the board on the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group that is funded in part by billionaire megadonor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.
Mr Broidy had already been under scrutiny for an alleged attempt to negotiate a multi-million dollar fee to stop the US government’s investigation into a Malaysian investment fund.
The news that Mr Cohen allegedly negotiated the payment comes after months of scandal for the lawyer. Those woes started after reports surfaced that Mr Cohen paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 just before the 2016 election allegedly in order to keep her from talking about the affair she alleges she had with Mr Trump in 2006.
Mr Cohen has admitted to making the payment, but has not disclosed the reason why. Both Mr Cohen and Mr Trump deny that the president had an affair with Daniels.
Mr Cohen’s offices in New York were raided earlier this week by the FBI.
The lawyer is still a member of the RNC finance committee.