Hush Money Trial: Michael Cohen Testifies Donald Trump Directed Payment To Stormy Daniels

(MENAFN- Live Mint) "Michael Cohen directly connected Donald Trump to the hush-money payment to adult- film
Stormy Daniels to keep their alleged sexual encounter out of the news ahead of the 2016 election the witness stand in the Manhattan criminal trial Monday, Trump's former lawyer and fixer recalled an October 2016 conversation in which the former president said that public disclosure of Daniels' story would spell“disaster” for his White House bid. Trump expressed frustration that Daniels was trying to shop her story to the media
and told Cohen to pay her $130,000 to buy her silence.“This is a disaster, a total disaster,” Cohen said Trump told him.“Women will hate me. Guys may think it's cool, but this is going to be a disaster for the campaign.”Trump pledges 'upper class' tax cut if he returns to White HouseCohen, the star witness in the hush-money case, detailed how Trump signed off on a plan to cover up the $130,000 Daniels payment under the guise of legal
fees. Cohen's testimony offered an insider's perspective into Trump's state of mind when he entered into the agreement.
The testimony is a crucial moment for the district attorney's office, which must convince the jury that Trump falsified dozens of business records in order to conceal the true nature of checks he made out to Cohen throughout 2017. It's one of four criminal cases Trump is facing as he campaigns to return to the White House Controller Says Cohen Was Repaid From Personal AccountUnder questioning by the prosecutor, Cohen elaborated on a trove of emails, texts and heated discussions, including Trump's directives, as the trial entered its fifth week. His testimony is potentially the most damaging against the former president so far, giving a first-hand account of Trump allegedly directing him to falsify financial records said he heard Daniels was speaking to publications about her story just after Trump was caught on an“Access Hollywood” tape boasting about sexually assaulting women. Prosecutors allege that the timing of the Daniels' hush-money payment was motivated by the release of the tape, which lead to a media
frenzy also described an ongoing arrangement with former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, who worked to shield Trump from unflattering stories long before the 2016 presidential campaign. Cohen testified that he was part of a 2015 meeting at Trump Tower in which Pecker assured Trump he'd help silence negative stories about him during the campaign. His testimony largely mirrored that of Pecker, who took the witness stand earlier Trump calls hush money trial judge 'crooked'In the weeks that followed the release of the Access Hollywood tape, Pecker balked at paying Daniels the agreed-upon $130,000 himself, Cohen said. Pecker told Cohen that Trump had failed to reimburse him for earlier salacious stories he'd bought to protect the billionaire.
According to Cohen, Trump grew angry with him for not making the Daniels problem go away, since the lawyer had convinced Pecker to remove a 2011 article about her claims from a gossip blog.“I thought you had this under control. Just take care of it,” Cohen said Trump told him Out LoanCohen decided to pay Daniels himself by tapping a home equity line of credit. Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger walked Cohen through a raft of emails and banking records that he said showed how he worked out the hush-money deal, using what he described as a legal
retainer for his services after he set up the company that made the payments.“I'm not sure they would have opened it if it stated 'to pay off an adult film
star for a nondisclosure agreement'” Cohen said, chuckling is set to return to the stand on Tuesday. Trump's lawyers on cross examination are expected to paint Cohen as a serial liar with a vendetta against his former boss, whose testimony can't be trusted. Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.'Beautiful Woman'Cohen described the chaos the Access Hollywood tape posed for Trump's campaign. He worked with Pecker to shield Trump from unflattering stories long before the 2016 presidential campaign. The Daniels story would be“catastrophic” for the campaign, Cohen said, because Trump was polling low with women recalled Trump saying:“push it out as long as you can, just get past the election. If I win, it has no relevance, because I'm president. But if I lose, I just don't care.'”Cohen said Trump asked him to reach out to his media
contacts and tell them that his words in the Access Hollywood recording were“locker room talk,” saying,“that's how his wife, Melania regarded it.”Trump was more concerned about his political future than about his wife finding out about his infidelity, Cohen said. The lawyer asked about Melania Trump.
“Don't worry, how long do you think I'll be on the market? Not long,'” Trump said, according to Cohen kept Trump's secrets for years before a bitter falling out in 2018, after the lawyer pleaded guilty to il legal
campaign finance charges over the hush-money payment to the adult film
. The relationship the two forged was shattered after Cohen pleaded guilty in federal
court in New York in August 2022, saying he'd paid two women so they did not disclose their“alleged affairs with the candidate.”In addition to the payment to Daniels, Cohen admitted to facilitating an il legal
contribution of $150,000, which former Playmate Karen McDougal received from the National Enquirer to quash her story about an alleged affair with Trump.


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