The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has revived its criminal investigation into Trump’s ‘hush payments’ to porn star Stephanie Clifford, AKA, Stormy Daniels.
Trump has been accused of paying Daniels ‘hush payments’ in a scheme to silence her and stop the story about their alleged affair from being published in the National Enquirer.
Trump has denied the affair.
House Democrats previously launched the inquiry into the hush payments ahead of the 2020 election cycle as a way to bog down Trump and slow down his 2020 re-election campaign.
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s predecessor previously rejected the Trump ‘hush payments’ case because it wouldn’t stand up in court.
Fast-forward a couple years and now the Manhattan DA has revived the Stormy Daniel hush payments probe to counter Trump’s 2024 White House bid.
According to the New York Times, the Manhattan DA began presenting evidence to a grand jury last Monday.
The former publisher of the National Enquirer was seen walking into the building in lower Manhattan where the grand jury was meeting last week.
Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen met with Manhattan prosecutors investigating the Stormy Daniels case on Monday.
Cohen previously claimed he was directly involved in helping Trump pay Stormy Daniels a $130,000 ‘hush payment.’
The New York Daily News reported:
Former Trump fixer Michael Cohen met with Manhattan prosecutors investigating his old boss for the 15th time Wednesday — as their probe into the ex-president continues.
“Their knowledge of this case is extraordinary,” Cohen said after leaving the lower Manhattan meeting. “They’re extremely well prepared.”
Trump’s former right-hand man declined to discuss specifics but said he suspects he’ll be meeting with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigators again soon.
His lawyer, Lanny Davis, described the conversation as thorough.
“The impressive part today was the thoroughness and detailed approach of this team of prosecutors. Mr. Bragg has said that this is being treated seriously by his team, and today, based on the questioning of Mr. Cohen, proved it,” Davis told the Daily News.
Cohen said he worked on the plot to pay off Daniels with National Enquirer boss David Pecker “at the request” of Trump. He said the Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., was involved in another payout to Playboy model Karen McDougal. The New York Times reported that Pecker testified before a grand jury began hearing evidence against the former president last week.
Cohen, in his federal case, said he withdrew $130,000 out of his home equity account, then transferred it to an LLC to wire it to Daniels. He told the House Oversight Committee in February 2019 that Trump and his namesake real estate business reimbursed him incrementally with interest.
At issue is whether Trump directed the hush money for politically motivated reasons, constituting a campaign donation, without classifying it as such, sources say.