Stormy Daniels Meets With Prosecutors in Trump Hush Money Investigation

March 15, 2023

An attorney for the adult film star known as “Stormy Daniels” said Wednesday that she had met with Manhattan prosecutors investigating the hush money payments from the Trump campaign ahead of the 2016 Presidential election. 

In a tweet, attorney Clark Brewster said, “At the request of the Manhattan DA’s office Stormy Daniels and I met with prosecutors today. Stormy responded to questions and has agreed to make herself available as a witness, or for further inquiry if needed.”

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, tweeted thanks to her attorney “for helping me in our continuing fight for truth and justice.”

The news came as ex-attorney and self-described “fixer” to former President Trump, Michael Cohen, was set to testify for a second time before the grand jury in the case.

“I feel great,” Cohen told reporters as he headed into what he expected to be his final day of testimony.

Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court in 2018 for arranging a nondisclosure agreement for which he paid Daniels $130,000, a campaign contribution violation during the 2016 election cycle, since the payment was made in service of the Trump campaign and exceeded the federal limit.

The former Trump fixer has asserted that he paid the hush money out of his own personal funds, then was reimbursed by the Trump Organization and also paid extra bonuses for a total that eventually rose to $420,000.

On January 30, it was reported that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office would begin presenting evidence to the grand jury. This past Friday, Trump Attorney Joseph Tacopina confirmed that the former President had been invited to testify before that grand jury, leading to suspicions that Bragg is seeking an indictment as potential defendants have the right to answer questions in the grand jury before they are indicted, though they rarely testify.

Trump has not been subpoenaed, and on Monday Tacopina said, “We have no plans on participating in this proceeding.” Then he added, “It’s a decision that needs to be made still. There’s been no deadline set, so we’ll wait and see.”

It’s also not clear what charges prosecutors might be exploring, but legal experts have surmised that one potential crime could be the way the payments to Cohen were structured and falsely classified internally as being for a legal retainer. New York has a law against falsifying business records, but it’s a misdemeanor—unless the falsifying of records is done in conjunction with a more serious felony.

Daniels has said that her 2006 sexual encounter with Trump was not something she wanted but that she also didn’t say no to. On his Truth Social social media site last Thursday, Trump denied having an affair with Daniels, and characterized Bragg’s investigation as part of a wider conspiracy to bring him down.

Trump, who has announced he’s running for reelection in 2024, has long asserted that Manhattan prosecutors are engaged in a “witch hunt.” He has also called Bragg, who is Black, a politically motivated “racist.” 

PHOTO credit: Glenn Francis

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