Re­port points to Trump’s role in hush money pay­ments

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - World - Agen­cies let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

‘STORMY’ AF­FAIR In­dict­ment out­lines his role in pay­outs to women to keep quiet about al­leged af­fairs WASH­ING­TON:

Fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors have pre­pared an 80-page in­dict­ment against Donald Trump’s for­mer lawyer Michael Cohen that out­lined the US pres­i­dent’s role in di­rect­ing pay­ments to women to keep quiet about al­leged af­fairs, the Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported.

The re­port on Fri­day added new de­tails to Cohen’s com­ments in court when he pleaded guilty in Au­gust, in which he said the pay­ments to the women were co­or­di­nated with Trump, CNN re­ported.

Trump was in­volved in or briefed on nearly every step of the pay­ments that were made to for­mer Play­boy model Karen McDou­gal and adult ac­tor Stephanie Clif­ford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, to keep quiet about their al­leged af­fairs with Trump, WSJ said.

The 22-page doc­u­ment pros­e­cu­tors ul­ti­mately filed against Cohen al­leged that he co­or­di­nated with one or more mem­bers of the Trump cam­paign.

Ac­cord­ing to the WSJ re­port, Trump met in Au­gust 2015 at the Trump Tower with David Pecker, the CEO of Amer­i­can Me­dia, who of­fered to use the Na­tional En­quirer to buy the si­lence of women who might try to pub­li­cise sex­ual af­fairs with Trump.

The crim­i­nal fil­ing from pros­e­cu­tors de­scribed the meet­ing in vague terms, but didn’t go into de­tail.

Dur­ing the cam­paign, Trump asked Pecker to stop McDou­gal from telling her story, and Pecker’s com­pany paid $150,000 to the for­mer Play­boy model.

Then in Oc­to­ber 2016, Cohen went on to pay $130,000 to Daniels him­self to keep her from go­ing pub­lic about an af­fair with Trump.

The Pres­i­dent lawyers de­clined to comment. Trump has pre­vi­ously de­nied both af­fairs.

Michael Ave­natti, the lawyer rep­re­sent­ing Daniels, said the new de­vel­op­ments vin­di­cated his client.

“I think the Pres­i­dent should be in­dicted.”


Trump in­structed jour­nal­ists on Fri­day to show more re­spect in the “sa­cred” White House and mo­ments later an­grily re­fused to an­swer a re­porter’s ques­tion be­cause it was “stupid”.

The lat­est clash be­tween the pres­i­dent and the press corps as­signed to cover him and the White House fol­lowed a melt­down on Wed­nes­day when Trump lashed out at a star CNN re­porter as a “ter­ri­ble per­son” and had him barred from the White House.

In Fri­day’s in­ci­dent, Abby Phillip, also from CNN, asked Trump whether he wanted his new at­tor­ney gen­eral to hold back an ex­plo­sive probe into al­le­ga­tions that the pres­i­dent’s 2016 elec­tion cam­paign col­luded with Rus­sian agents.

The topic has been one of the main head­lines in Wash­ing­ton since Wed­nes­day when Trump abruptly fired Jeff Ses­sions as at­tor­ney gen­eral and named Matthew Whi­taker, who has strongly crit­i­cised the Rus­sia probe, to re­place him. Crit­ics have ac­cused Trump of plac­ing an ally who will try to muz­zle spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Trump, speak­ing just be­fore leav­ing for an in­ter­na­tional gather­ing in Paris to com­mem­o­rate World War I, re­fused to an­swer Phillip.

“What a stupid ques­tion that is, what a stupid ques­tion. But I watch you a lot. You ask a lot of stupid ques­tions,” he said, shak­ing a fin­ger at the jour­nal­ist, then walk­ing away.


US Pres­i­dent Donald Trump speaks to the press in Wash­ing­ton on Fri­day be­fore leav­ing for Paris.

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