10 July 2020

FBI documents: Trump's role in bribes to porn actress

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US President Donald Trump was actively involved in a hush-money payment to a porn actress weeks before the 2016 US presidential election in order to keep her quiet about their alleged sexual affair, despite his denial of newly-released FBI documents show, contradicting Trump’s claim that he has no knowledge of such payments reports citing American media that the documents, released Thursday on the orders of US District Judge William Pauley in New York, provided the most extensive account to date of what appears to be then-candidate Trump’s personal involvement in the scheme to pay $130,000 to porn actress Stormy Daniels to head off a scandal.

At the time, Trump was seeking to avert another controversy for his election campaign already reeling from the release of 2005 audio in which Trump bragged about grabbing women by the genitals.

The judge on Wednesday said there was no reason to keep the documents secret after prosecutors told him that their investigation into the payments had ended.

The documents detailed repeated communications between Trump and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen, and Hope Hicks, Trump’s presidential campaign press secretary who later became a senior White House official.

Cohen began serving a three-year prison sentence in May for violating campaign finance laws and other crimes, including making false statements to a bank and tax evasion.

Cohen violated campaign finance laws by directing the payment to Daniels, as well as another payment of $150,000 to Playboy model Karen McDougal shortly before the election.

Both women have said they had sexual encounters with Trump more than a decade ago and that the money was meant to buy their silence. Trump has denied the encounters and in 2018 told reporters he knew nothing about a payment to Daniels.

The newly unredacted material shows Cohen having multiple interactions with Trump and Trump’s campaign staff as Cohen was negotiating the payoff with Daniels’ lawyer and executives of American Media Inc, publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper.

In a statement released from prison on Thursday, Cohen reiterated his previous comments about Trump’s central role in the hush money scheme.

US Congressman Adam Schiff, a Democratic and chairman of the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that the documents reveal that the Republican president was “intimately involved in devising and executing a corrupt scheme” to keep his affairs secret.

2019.07.19 / 17:12
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