While Trump proclaims his innocence in all criminal matters, calling every investigation into his shady and corrupt behavior a “witch hunt,” evidence of his crimes during the 2016 presidential campaigns and after entering office keep piling up.
New: State prosecutors in Manhattan subpoenaed Trump's family business today, demanding the Trump Organization provide documents related to money that had been used to buy the silence of Stormy Daniels, according to NYT.https://t.co/iFp4hd2CE8
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 1, 2019
On Thursday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. subpoenaed the Trump Organization over illegal campaign finance violations. The case is tied to the payoff of adult film star and producer Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford), who was paid $130,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement around her affair with the president before he campaigned for office. The payout was shown by Trump’s former attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, to have been issued by him and reimbursed by the Trump Organization. Since the transaction was not reported as a campaign donation despite its obvious purpose of helping Trump during the election, it meets the criteria of a campaign finance violation.
According to the New York Times:
‘The subpoena, issued by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, demanded the Trump Organization provide documents related to money that had been used to buy the silence of Stormy Daniels, a pornographic film actress who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump.
‘The inquiry from the district attorney’s office, which is in early stages, is examining whether any senior executives at the company filed false business records about the hush money, which would be a state crime, the people said.’
If Barr thinks Mueller could have accused Trump of a crime, then SDNY prosecutors should stop being coy about “Individual 1” and announce whether Trump should be charged with campaign finance fraud.
Michael Cohen + David Pecker + recording + reimbursement checks = indictment. https://t.co/lhO1QY80bl
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 31, 2019
While Trump has repeatedly lied about his knowledge of the payoff, an audio recording of him instructing Cohen to pay women off during the 2016 presidential campaigns has been released, proving that he not only knew about it, but that it was done at his direction. However, Cohen now sits in jail in part because of that illegal campaign donation while Trump sits in the White House. Since a sitting president cannot be indicted thanks to a Department of Justice policy, Trump has escaped prosecution for the illegal act, at least for now.
‘The investigation will focus on a $130,000 payment Michael D. Cohen, the president’s lawyer and fixer at the time, gave Ms. Daniels. Mr. Cohen also helped arrange for a tabloid media company to pay the Playboy model Karen McDougal, a second woman who said she had had an affair with the president. The disclosure of the payments ignited a scandal that threatened to derail the Trump presidency.’
NEW: The Manhattan DA has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for records related to hush money payments made to Stormy Daniels by Michael Cohen, the New York Times reports. https://t.co/SNEuyFbrzA
— Axios (@axios) August 1, 2019
Cohen was not the only person in the Trump circle to have come under fire for their involvement in the payoffs. American Media, Inc. CEO David Pecker, whose company owns the National Enquirer, has cooperated with investigators after it was determined that he paid Playboy model Karen McDougal for exclusive rights to her story only to then fail to run it in a practice called “catch and kill.” It is unclear at this point whether Pecker or American Media Inc. were reimbursed for their efforts to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election, as well.
‘The Trump Organization reimbursed Mr. Cohen for his payment to Ms. Daniels. State prosecutors are examining whether the company — and any of its senior executives — then falsely listed the reimbursement as a legal expense, the people briefed on the matter said.
‘Following the groundwork laid in the federal investigation, the district attorney’s office is expected to scrutinize the senior ranks of the company, although it is unclear whether the inquiry will reach the president. Mr. Trump has denied the affairs and any wrongdoing.’
Featured image screenshot via YouTube