Report: Donald Trump could actually be criminally charged for Stormy Daniels’ gag payment

The 2016 presidential election represent many firsts in history. This is the first time a big party gourd a woman is its candidate. This is the first time a nominee has bragged that he can shoot someone on a big road and didn’t lose any votes. This is the first time a candidate has asked for a foreign opponent cheat competitor’s email account. And, of course, this is the first time a presidential candidate has asked his lawyer to pay a porn star six figures to cover up an alleged affair.

Apparently, the last entry refers to a Donald Trump and a Storm Daniels—with whom Trump has denied having an affair — and a payment that, like so many other things, the former president has never faced any consequences. And he still might not, even though his chances of avoiding the consequences get significantly worse.

The New York Times report that the Manhattan district attorney’s office was scheduled to begin “presenting evidence to a grand jury” about Trump’s role in the 2016 pre-gap scheme on Monday, “laying the groundwork for the charges.” potential criminal charges against the former president in the coming months, according to people with knowledge of the matter.” According to the newspaper, a grand jury has recently been selected and witness testimony will begin soon, “a clear signal that the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, is nearing a decision on whether to press charges against Mr. Trump.”

One of those witnesses is said to be David Pecker, former publisher of National investigator. His testimony could have special consequences, because time note, due to an agreement he signed in 2016 to guard against potentially damaging stories about Trump and ensure that they never see the light of day. For example, in August of that year, American Media, Inc., publisher of National investigator and the company that Pecker was CEO of at the time, pay $150,000 to secure the rights to the former’s story dissipated model Karen McDougall—who also alleges that she had an affair with the then Republican candidate — and has never made anything public. (Trump denies having an affair with McDougal.) Two months later, Daniels negotiated a possible sale. hers rights to the tabloids, but this time things were different.

Like time Note:

Mr. Pecker…also refused to pay Ms. Daniels. He and the tabloid editor, [Dylan] Howard, agree that [Trump attorney Michael] cohen will have to work directly with Ms. Daniels’ team. When Mr. Cohen was late to pay, Mr. Howard pressed him to complete the deal, fearing that Ms. Daniels would make their discussions public about blocking her story. “We have to coordinate something,” Howard texted Cohen in late October 2016, “otherwise it could turn out badly for everyone.”

Two days later, Cohen transferred $130,000 to an account held by Daniels’ attorney.

According to the time, prosecutors sought to interview Howard and Trump Organization employees Jeffrey McConney and Deborah Tarasoff before the grand jury, noting that although McConney and Tarasoff “were not central players, they helped arrange for the Trump Organization to reimburse Cohen for the $130,000 he had paid.” to Miss Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford.”

Meanwhile, Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to campaign finance violations, bank fraud and tax evasion, and speak he arranged the payments at Trump’s direction — clearly happy to tell investigators what he knew about the hush money issue. (According to the time, Cohen was at the district attorney’s office earlier this month to meet with prosecutors, and is “expected to return to do at least one additional interview with prosecutors in February.” .”)

As for what would have to happen to prosecute Trump:

…the core of any possible case is how the Trump Organization reimbursed Mr. Cohen for the $130,000 he paid Ms. Daniels and how the company records that payment internally. According to court papers in Cohen’s federal case, the company misidentified the reimbursements as legal expenses.

The district attorney’s office is currently focusing on whether misclassifying payments to Mr. Cohen as legal expenses violates New York law that prohibits falsifying business records. Violation of that law can be charged as a misdemeanor. To make it a felony, Mr. Bragg’s prosecutors needed to prove that Mr. Trump falsified records to help commit or conceal the second crime—in this case, a violation of State election law. New York, according to a person with knowledge of the case. Van dyke. That latter aspect is largely untested, and would therefore create a risky legal case against any defendant, let alone the former president.


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