Michael Cohen Testifies Trump Directed Hush Money Payment to Stormy Daniels

Published on: May 14, 2024 11:26 IST

Michael Cohen, former lawyer and fixer for Donald Trump, directly implicated the former president in orchestrating a hush-money payment to Pornstar Stormy Daniels to keep their alleged sexual encounter under wraps ahead of the 2016 election.

Trump expressed frustration in the Court room that Stormy was trying to shop her story to the media and told Cohen to pay her $130,000 to buy her silence.

Testifying in a Manhattan criminal trial, Cohen recounted a pivotal October 2016 conversation with Trump, during which the then-presidential candidate expressed concern that Daniels’ story could jeopardize his White House bid. Cohen quoted Trump as saying, “This is a disaster, a total disaster… Women will hate me.”

Cohen detailed how Trump instructed him to facilitate a $130,000 payment to Daniels to secure her silence, framing it as a legal fee reimbursement. This testimony sheds light on Trump’s state of mind and his active involvement in the agreement.

The trial, focusing on allegations of falsified business records related to the payment, marks a critical juncture for the district attorney’s office. Cohen’s firsthand testimony provides insight into Trump’s purported directives and efforts to conceal financial transactions.

According to Cohen, the timing of the payment coincided with the release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump made derogatory remarks about women. Prosecutors argue that the media frenzy following the tape’s release prompted the urgency of the hush-money agreement.

Cohen also disclosed an ongoing collaboration between Trump and former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker to suppress unfavorable stories, dating back to 2015. Pecker’s reluctance to directly fund the Daniels payment allegedly stemmed from Trump’s failure to reimburse him for prior tabloid acquisitions.

Despite efforts to contain the scandal, Trump reportedly grew frustrated with Cohen’s handling of the situation, urging him to “take care of it.” Cohen ultimately financed the payment himself, utilizing personal funds.

As Cohen prepares to return to the stand, Trump’s legal team is expected to challenge his credibility, painting him as a discredited witness with ulterior motives. Cohen’s previous guilty plea for lying to Congress about a separate matter will likely feature prominently in the defense’s strategy.

Amidst revelations of Trump’s concerns over the potential fallout with female voters and his focus on political survival, Cohen’s testimony underscores the tumultuous relationship between the former allies. The trial represents a significant legal and political reckoning for Trump as he faces multiple legal challenges while eyeing a return to the White House.

Related Post