Michael Avenatti Calls For Trump's 'Immediate' Indictment After Hush Money Report
12 November, 2018, 13:52 | Author: Sheila Harris
The WSJreported that President Donald Trump is directly implicated in the payoffs of alleged mistresses Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal during the 2016 election and was "involved in or briefed on almost every step of the agreements".
However, the WSJ found he was involved "on almost every step of the agreements" - in the form of phone calls and meetings with his former lawyer and "fixer", Michael Cohen.
They also raise the possibility that the president of the United States violated federal campaign-finance laws.
Trump initially planned to repay American Media for the McDougal story, says the WSJ, but Pecker ordered Cohen to dispose of the repayment contract when his lawyer advised him it would undermine his statement that the purchase was exclusively a business transaction.
Cohen, who implicated the president in his crimes when he pleaded guilty in August, has met with investigators for Mueller and with federal prosecutors in NY, seeking to provide information that could mitigate his punishment.
The Journal found that Trump "directed deals in phone calls and meetings with his self-described fixer, Michael Cohen, and others".
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Less than a year later, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Pecker to quash the story of a former Playboy model who said they'd had an affair.
Michael Cohen, who resigned from the Trump Organisation to serve as the president's personal attorney in the early 2017, denied Trump played any part in the two hush-money deals when they were first reported in the Journal.
After Trump's 2016 request, Pecker's company, American Media Inc., paid $150,000 to McDougal to keep her from going public with her story.
Attorney Michael Avenatti, who represents Daniels, told Business Insider the Journal's report "confirms what we've been alleging for over eight months". Cohen told prosecutors that as Trump discussed the payment to Daniels, he told him, "Get it done", the newspaper reported.
To federal prosecutors, Cohen said the first payment was "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office", and the second was made "under direction of the same candidate". And according to the Wall Street Journal, federal prosecutors have extensive evidence that Trump was indeed a central figure in coordinating the hush money schemes, despite his previous denials.
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