Michael Avenatti Calls For Trump's 'Immediate' Indictment After Hush Money Report

Clay Curtis
November 12, 2018

Michael Cohen, who resigned from the Trump Organisation to serve as the president's personal attorney in the early 2017, denied Trump played any part in the two hush-money deals when they were first reported in the Journal.

The Journal cited Richard Hasen, a campaign finance law expert, who said Trump's involvement wouldn't necessarily mean he broke campaign finance laws.

Cohen, who implicated the president in his crimes when he pleaded guilty in August, has met with investigators for Mueller and with federal prosecutors in NY, seeking to provide information that could mitigate his punishment. Cohen told prosecutors that as Trump discussed the payment to Daniels, he told him, "Get it done", the newspaper reported. But the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan has gathered evidence that Trump was involved in the transactions, The Journal reported.

Cohen told a federal judge in August that he had paid sums of $130,000 and $150,000 each to two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump, adult film star Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) and Playboy model Karen McDougal, acting at his boss's request in a bid to buy their silence "with the goal of influencing the election". He had directed agreements on phone calls and meetings with Michael Cohen, and others. In court, Cohen admitted that "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office", he kept information that would have harmed Trump from becoming public during the 2016 election cycle. But negotiations between Cohen and prosecutors then began in earnest and they negotiated a plea deal.

The report also claims Trump enlisted the help of media executive David Pecker, who owns the tabloid National Enquirer, to "buy the silence of women if they tried to publicize sexual encounters with Mr. Trump". 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.

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

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing Daniels, said the new developments vindicated his client.

Avanetti, in an interview on CNN with Wolf Blitzer. called for the "immediate indictment" of Trump on "felony" campaign finance violations.

"I think the President should be indicted".

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