Newly released court records reportedly show that Donald Trump was aware of the efforts to keep Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal silent about their alleged affairs in the days leading up to the 2016 election. This raises new questions about possible campaign finance violations for the now-sitting president, and other more ethical issues.
President Trump has made no secret of his love for models and Playboy playmates, yet he has continually denied Daniels' account of their affair years ago, shortly after the birth of Barron Trump, and McDougal's similar story. However, according to a report by the Associated Press, He was aware of efforts made by his team to keep Daniels from going public with her accusation before the 2016 election.
Two sources close to federal prosecutors said that they had decided not to file additional charges against the president or those in his orbit, despite learning that he had been aware of the illegal hush money paid to Daniels.
The court records containing this knowledge were released on Thursday. So far, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan has declined to comment on the issue. The records show that, in their investigation of Michael Cohen, the prosecutors also investigated other people that "may be criminally liable" in the scandal, and whether they “made false statements, gave false testimony or otherwise obstructed justice.”
Trump has repeatedly said that he had no affairs with Daniels, McDougal or other women, nor did he know that Cohen had paid them huge sums of money to keep quiet.
Last year, Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, lying to Congress and financial crimes, while at the same time denouncing President Trump altogether. After their long working relationship, Cohen hoped his testimony would implicate the president in campaign finance violations and bring him down.
Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, still argues that there are others in Trump's circle who should be indicted, and wonders why prosecutors seem content with Cohen when he has tried to lead them to other co-conspirators. Cohen is currently serving a three-year prison term for his crimes, but on Thursday he was able to release a statement through Davis.
“The conclusion of the investigation exonerating The Trump Organization’s role should be of great concern to the American people and investigated by Congress and The Department of Justice," he said.0comments
Federal prosecutors recently told U.S. District Judge William Pauley that they were finished with this investigation. Pauley then granted the request of several media outlets asking to see the materials and evidence for themselves. Pauley agreed that the public had a right to these documents, calling them "a matter of national importance."
So far, Trump has not responded to the newly released documents.