Trump Has More Legal Problems – But This Looks Really Bad
On Monday, The New York Times reported that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office will begin presenting evidence to a grand jury in the twice impeached president’s role in paying “hush money” to a porn star during his 2016 presidential campaign.
A grand jury had been recently impaneled, while it now appears that witness testimony will begin – a sign that District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg is laying the groundwork for potential criminal charges against Donald Trump.
One of the potential witnesses, David Pecker – the former publisher of The National Enquirer, the tabloid that had helped broker the deal with Stormy Daniels to cover up an alleged adulterous affair with Trump – was reportedly seen entering the building in Lower Manhattan where the grand jury is sitting.
The DA’s office had recently met with Michael Cohen, Trump’s ex-personal lawyer and “fixer.”
More Than a Sex Scandal for Donald Trump
Though Trump’s spokespeople have denied the affair and accused Daniels of lying, arrangements were made to facilitate a payment to her.
Cohen was the individual responsible for delivering payments to Daniels (real name Stephanie Gregory Clifford), who received $130,000 in “hush money” to silence her about an affair she claims she had with Trump in 2006.
Cohen was indicted on federal charges related to the scheme and later pleaded guilty, and spent time in federal prison before being released to house arrest during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition, prosecutors have also begun contacting officials from Trump’s 2016, the paper of record reported, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.
The charges that Donald Trump could face stem from whether his company falsified business records to disguise those payments to Cohen as compensation for legal services, rather than as reimbursement for a loan he took out to finance the payment he made to Daniels
In April 2018, the FBI raided Cohen’s office and seized emails, tax documents, and business records relating to several matters, including payments that he had made to Daniels.
Daniels Fired Back at Donald Trump
Daniels filed a lawsuit against Trump in March 2018, claiming the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) was invalid as Donald Trump never personally signed it.
She also alleged that Trump’s attorney had been trying to intimidate her and “scare her into not talking.”
In an interview later that month with CBS’ 60 Minutes, Daniels said she and Donald Trump had sex one time, and she was later threatened into signing the NDA in front of her then-infant daughter.
She had also filed a lawsuit against Trump on libel charges because he called her statements “fraud” – but the suit was dismissed on First Amendment grounds, and she lost her appeal in August 2020.
The adult entertainment actress has maintained that she has endured death threats, hate mail, and even unfair arrests. She has tried to move on with her career, and that recently included doing 15 standup comedy shows, which she joked, “It was the most terrifying experience of my life, and that’s saying something because I’ve seen Trump naked.”
Author Experience and Expertise: A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.