In the final weeks of the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump’s lawyer tried to buy the silence of a porn actress named Stormy Daniels who said she had sex with the Republican during his days as a reality TV star.
Trump attorney Michael Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 in silent money in exchange for Daniels’ silence about his alleged affair with Trump, which took place in 2006. The silent money payment itself was a violation potential for campaign finance laws because it was an unreported matter. contribution to the campaign.
Getty Images-AP Photo/Markus Schreiber-AP Photo/J. Scott Apple White
Cohen is already serving time in prison for his role in the deal. Now a New York grand jury will decide whether Trump should also face charges in connection with that win.
Full timeline of the Stormy Daniels cover-up investigation
On January 12, 2018, The Wall Street Journal published an article detailing how Cohen paid porn actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 via wire transfer in October 2016 and how it was reimbursed by the Trump Organization. Cohen received $360,000 plus a $60,000 bonus, for a total of $420,000, paid in monthly installments for 12 months after Trump won the election.
The Trump Organization later recorded the reimbursements as legal fees, according to federal prosecutors who filed criminal charges against Cohen in connection with the payments in 2018.
On February 13, 2018, Cohen admitted making the payments, but denied Trump’s involvement or knowledge.
On April 9, 2018, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Cohen’s home and office. The search is the first indication of a federal investigation into Cohen’s actions.
In July 2018, CNN publishd a recording of a phone call between Cohen and Trump in which they discussed the payment before it was made.
A month later, Cohen to plead guilty to eight federal charges of tax evasion, fraud and campaign finance violations related to the payments to Daniels. He admitted in Manhattan federal court that Trump ordered him to make the payments.
It wasn’t until August 2019 that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office began its investigation into the Trump Organization’s tax records and involvement in the cover-up. Although Trump tried to claim executive privilege to prevent the release of his organization’s tax records, the Supreme Court refused to block the release of Trump’s tax returns to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. The move opened the door to the possibility that Trump could be indicted for his role in the cover-up.
Potential charges Trump could face include conspiracy to commit campaign finance fraud, making false statements to investigators, obstructing justice, and more. If charged and convicted, he could face serious legal consequences, including fines, probation and even jail time.
Trump said he expects to be arrested in New York on Tuesday.
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