Trump had central role in hush money payments to women

President Donald Trump

Trump has been accused of making payoffs in order to suppress stories about his alleged sexual encounters ahead of the November 2016 presidential election. 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.

Trump was involved in "nearly every step" of the coordinated efforts to keep the women quiet, in an apparent effort to help his presidential campaign, according to The Journal, which cited court documents, corporate records, and interviews with dozens of people.

"Tonight, there is certainly more evidence than there was this morning that the president of the United States might have violated some kind of campaign finance law", Fisher reported.

NBC News reported in August that Trump was directly involved in the payments after Michael Cohen, his former lawyer and fixer, pleaded guilty to eight counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations, including two counts related to hush-money payments made to women that he said he made at the direction of Trump.

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Mr. Pecker, chief executive of American Media Inc., offered to use his National Enquirer tabloid to buy the silence of women if they tried to publicize alleged sexual encounters with Mr. Trump.

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. However, Cohen's sworn testimony to prosecutors could implicate the president in a crime, although the WSJ notes that "Trump's involvement in the payments, by itself, wouldn't mean he is guilty of federal crimes".

Cohen himself made the payment to Daniels/Clifford, after Trump allegedly told him to "get it done". It alleges that he "directed deals in phone calls and meetings with his self-described fixer, Michael Cohen", and that the USA attorney's office in Manhattan is gathering evidence about his role.

Both McDougal and Daniels/Clifford have filed lawsuits to break their non-disclosure agreements and speak about the affairs.

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