In what will likely become fodder for House Democrats preparing a litany of probes targeting the White House, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday Donald Trump, despite repeated denials, was actively involved in payments intending to silence former mistresses as a presidential candidate.
According to the Journal, federal prosecutors accumulated evidence of now-President Trump’s role in the hush-money payments during a DOJ investigation of former Trump attorney, Michael Cohen.
Cohen, who pleaded guilty to eight federal counts in August, told a federal judge Mr. Trump had personally ordered him to make payments to pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels.
The payments, one to Daniels for $130,000, and a second to former Playboy model, Karen McDougal in the amount of $150,000, apparently were drawn from Trump campaign funds in violation of federal election laws.
In a 22-page draft indictment prepared by federal prosecutors pursuing the former Trump “fixer,” investigators allege Mr. Cohen:
“Coordinated with one or more members of the campaign, including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments.”
Although the draft indictment did not mention Trump by name, sources involved with the investigation of Cohen’s business dealings have confirmed Trump is “one or more” members with whom Cohen coordinated payments to McDougal and Daniels.
Charging documents filed against Cohen in August show details over the payments, including a fraudulent invoice to the Trump Organization to reimburse Cohen for the payment to Daniels.
Following the Journal‘s revelations, the White House made no comment and referred media inquiries to Trump’s outside attorney, Jay Sekulow.
[Wall Street Journal] [CNN] [Photo courtesy Getty Images via New York Post]