New questions about Trump lawyer's financial records

Ronan Farrow discusses his New Yorker report that a law enforcement official leaked Michael Cohen's financial records out of concern some files were missing.
6:03 | 05/17/18

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Transcript for New questions about Trump lawyer's financial records
President trump facing new questions over his newly released financial disclosure about that payment to Michael Cohen and now there's an allegation there are morn banking files that may be missing. Tom llamas has the latest. Reporter: Good morning to you. In the banking world they're known as a sar, suspicious activity report and they need them to flag transactions. Two sars are now missing. For the first time president trump officially acknowledging he personally reimbursed his attorney Michael Cohen last year. The president's lawyers have said that some of that money was to cover Cohen's $130,000 payment in that hush agreement to porn star stormy Daniels. You can see it here in a footnote on page 45 of his mandatory personal financial disclosure report. In 2016 expenses were incurred by one of Donald J. Trump's attorneys, Michael Cohen. Mr. Trump fully reimbursed Mr. Cohen in 2017 between $100,000 and $250,000. This coming after president trump just last month claimed he knew nothing about Cohen's payment to Daniels. Did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy Daniels? No, no. Reporter: The president now saying he formally disclosed the payment in the interest of transparency insisting he's not required to do so. But the office of government ethics disagrees writing in its own footnote the information related to the payment made by Mr. Cohen is required to be reported. And sending this letter to the doj alerting them of the new disclosure. This as the mystery surrounding Michael Cohen's suspicious business transactions is deepening. Now allegations some of Cohen's records have disappeared. "The new Yorker" reporting a law enforcement official was the leaked some of Cohen's financial records last week. The reason, the official was concerned because some files were missing, specifically two suspicious activity reports detailing transactions worth more than $3 million. The source telling "The new Yorker," I have never seen something pulled off the system. When something is not there that should be I immediately became concerned. That's why I came forward. It certainly is unusual and in and of itself suspicious that just two sars were pulled off of the system and those two sars apparently led to or disclosed a significant amount of money that went to Michael Cohen, so,yes, I think it's suspicious. Reporter: Cohen's business transactions came into the spotlight last week after they were leaked to and then published by porn star stormy Daniels' attorney Michael avenatti. I'm not going to disclose how we're getting the documents. Reporter: Avenatti claims Cohen was trying to sell access to the president consulting businesses outside of his area of expertise. AT&T says they paid Cohen $600,000. Columbus nova, a firm with deep ties to a company owned by a Russian oligarch who is a Putin ally paid him $500,000 and Swiss pharmaceutical giant novartis says they paid Cohen $1.2 million. Both novartis and AT&T calling their deals with Cohen a mistake and say they have responded to inquiries from the special counsel's team late last year. And now "The Washington post" reporting the FBI is looking at yet another company that did business with Michael Cohen, Korean air rowspace industries and checked with the special counsel in the southern district of New York to see if they are the ones who pulled those sars off the system. They are not commenting. The deputy of the treasury department is also looking into who exactly leaked those banking records. We're joined by Ronan farrow who wrote that. Welcome back. Good to be here. Let's clear some things up or clarify things to begin with. We know the documents are missing. Dent know if that was taken by someone trying to protect Michael Cohen. We don't know if it was taken by the prosecutors looking into Michael Cohen or something else. A lot of possible explanation, not all of them involving foul play. We're very careful to point that out but what expert after expert said this is extremely rare. And regardless of whether there's any kind of malicious political interference or not it suggests that there is something very sensitive in these remaining documents that are no longer accessible in the search results. The person who came forward to you putting himself or herself in real legal jeopardy. Yeah, absolutely. This is an act that carries potentially five years in prison as a consequence and this individual, a law enforcement official who worked on these for many years joust found it so alarming that these were gone and was so alarmed by the contents of the one suspicious activity report we do have this person felt this is worth the risk. What did the person say to you? Said over and over, you know, I am troubled by the breaking of rules in this country right now. And what we see in this one suspicious activity report is such a clear-cut example of corruption in this person's view that the indication that there's triple the amount of transactions still out in the wild and we don't have the records for them and law enforcement dont have the records for them was troubling to this person. Presumably law enforcement could have the underlying banking record, not the sar report. Well, so, at least a certain rung of law enforcement at which this individual is cannot access those reports in the system. Okay, meanwhile, know the president filed this financial disclosure report claiming this liability and these payments to Michael Cohen. The big question now is how much liability does he face for not reporting this last year? Yeah, there was so much news yesterday. This can't get lost. The office of government ethics actually alerted the department of justice yesterday letting them though this disclosure was not in the president's forms. The problem is groups have been complaining saying they should have reported this a year ago. The president signed that document saying everything was true when clearly something was left out. And it would be a felony if the president's failure to disklose was knowing and willing. Could be criminal, yes. Tom, Ronan, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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