Court documents detail Trump campaign efforts to pay hush money to Stormy Daniels
An FBI agent investigating the matter wrote that Trump and his former attorney, Michael Cohen, exchanged “a series of calls, text messages and emails after Access Hollywood released a tape of Trump discussing groping women. Included in those communications were campaign aide Hope Hicks, Keith Davidson — an attorney for Daniels — and David Pecker, CEO of American Media Inc., which published the National Enquirer.
“Based on the timing of these calls, and the content of the text messages and emails, I believe that at least some of these communications concerned the need to prevent Clifford from going public, particularly in the wake of the Access Hollywood story,” the agent said, referring to Daniels by her birth name, Stephanie Clifford.
Federal prosecutors ended the investigation into the payments and Cohen on Wednesday and ordered the documents to be released Thursday.
The documents stated that Hicks called Cohen the day after the tape was released in October 2016 and Trump joined the call, which lasted about 4 minutes.
FBI officials believed the conversations were about Daniels and after the final call, Howard sent a text to Cohen confirming the deal to wire Davidson the $131,000.
The documents also showed that Trump and Cohen spoke on the phone at least twice the day Cohen initiated the transfer.
The final call between Trump and Cohen noted in the documents took place on Oct. 28. Later that day, attorneys for Cohen and Daniels confirmed paperwork for the agreement assuring Daniels’ silence about the alleged affair.
Trump has denied the affair and the hush money payments.
Cohen is serving a three-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to lying to Congress about efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. He also violated campaign finance laws by the paying hush money to Daniels.