Federal prosecutors have evidence that President Donald Trump played a key role in hush payoffs that violated campaign-finance laws.
Trump has been accused of making payoffs in order to suppress stories about his alleged sexual encounters ahead of the November 2016 presidential election. And now, the Wall Street Journal reports he played a key role in the hush payments involving Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.
Trump reportedly met with his longtime friend and chief executive of American Media, David Pecker, to quiet the women who had stories to tell. In one instance, Pecker’s company reportedly paid $150,00 to model Karen McDougal to prevent her from speaking out about the alleged affair.
Trump, his legal team and advisors, have publicly denied he was directly involved in the payments. However, the WSJ found he was involved “on nearly every step of the agreements” — in the form of phone calls and meetings with his former lawyer and “fixer,” Michael Cohen.
The WSJ adds the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan has also gathered crucial evidence of Trump’s participation in those transactions.
Revelations about Trump’s involvement in the hush payoffs come as the special counsel’s office continues its probe into Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election, as well as the infamous Trump Tower meeting.