Trump Played Integral Part in Hush Payments to Stormy Daniels & Karen McDougal

President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump Evan Vucci AP

The Wall Street Journal found that Mr. Trump was involved in or briefed on almost every step of the agreements.

In August, Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, said he made the payments at the direction of Trump and pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations.

"The Wall Street Journal found that Mr. Trump was involved in or briefed on almost every step of the agreements".

"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.

The president has repeatedly denied playing any role in hush-money payments to the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016 and the former Playboy model Karen McDougal in 2015. Mr. Pecker's company soon paid $150,000 to the model, Karen McDougal, to keep her from speaking publicly about it. Mr. Trump later thanked Mr. Pecker for the assistance.

Pecker responded by offering to use his tabloid to buy off women who might attempt to go public with their past sexual experiences with Trump by acquiring the exclusive rights to the stories but never publishing them, a practice known as "catch and kill".

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, left, looks at her attorney Michael Avenatti, after making a statement to reporters at a federal court in NY, on April 16, 2018. 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 said when he was sentenced that he was directed by the candidate - Trump himself - to carry out these acts. However, the WSJ found he was involved "on almost every step of the agreements" - in the form of phone calls and meetings with his former lawyer and "fixer", Michael Cohen. The report also said the Manhattan U.S. attorney has evidence of Mr. Trump's involvement with the payments.

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

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