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Gary Cohn donates $10M to charity amid Goldman Sachs standoff

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Gary Cohn donates $10M to charity amid Goldman Sachs standoff 1

Gary Cohn would rather give millions to charity than let Goldman Sachs claw it back from his famously large hands.

The beefy Wall Street big, who spent nearly a decade as the No. 2 executive at Goldman, has spent nearly two months in a standoff over the bank’s reported demand that Cohn pay $10 million to make amends for Goldman’s role in the 1MDB Malaysian corruption scandal that led to $5 billion in fines.

But on Thursday, Cohn — who left the firm in early 2017 to do a 15-month stint as President Trump’s top economic adviser — said he will donate money to charity instead.

“As Goldman Sachs’ October statement on the 1MDB matter said, none of the past or current members of senior management were involved in any wrongdoing,” a Cohn spokesperson said in a text message to The Post.

“Mr. Cohn is a team player, and as a good corporate citizen, he volunteered many weeks ago to make a significant charitable contribution to Goldman Sachs-sponsored organizations and looks forward to doing so.”

While the amount of the donation is not specific, two sources familiar say that Cohn’s check is for “millions of dollars,” but short of the reported $10 million asked for by Goldman.

While it might appear that Cohn is taunting his old firm, a company spokesperson claims that Goldman is happy enough with the outcome. Goldman’s clawback demand was actually something less than $10 million, a source close to the bank said.

“We are pleased that Gary has chosen to support charitable organizations that are doing important work and put this matter behind us,” said a company spokesperson in a statement.

Cohn’s spokesperson insisted on Thursday that the offer to donate to charity was made many weeks ago. Last week, however, Cohn had said in an interview he was still having “very constructive conversations” with Goldman about the clawback.

At the time, sources familiar with Goldman told The Post that Cohn’s stubborn refusal to pay up had left some inside the bank feeling “disappointed and confused.” Cohn’s former colleagues including Goldman CEO David Solomon and his predecessor Lloyd Blankfein had agreed immediately to pay back their share of the $174 million that the bank’s board had demanded as a mea culpa for the Malaysian misadventure.

But Cohn’s situation was uniquely difficult for Goldman as he took more than $100 million with him and cut ties with the bank when he left to become head of the White House’s National Economic Council in January 2017.

The severance was intended to avoid any possible conflict of interest, and ended Cohn’s financial connection with the bank which in turn snapped any leverage Goldman had to take money back from its former president and COO.

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