NEW YORK – The criminal charges Donald Trump faces in New York stem from three separate cases in which the former president and his associates are accused of making secret payments during his 2016 campaign: to two women to hide reports of sexual encounters, according to extramarital couples he had years before, and a former Trump Tower doorman who claimed to have a story about a child he said Trump had out of wedlock.
Trump has been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records. He traveled to Manhattan early Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
A look at the three cases cited by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who described the charges:
TRUMP TOWER GATEWAY
Bragg first listed the incident involving a former Trump Tower doorman who was paid $30,000 after claiming he had information about a child Trump had out of wedlock. That doorman, Dino Sajudin, was paid by the National Enquirer’s parent company in exchange for dropping rights, “in perpetuity,” over a rumor that the president fathered a child with a Trump World Tower employee, a skyscraper he owns. near the United Nations.
The contract between Sajudin and American Media Inc. would penalize Sajudin $1 million if he disclosed the rumor or the terms of his deal with the tabloid’s parent company. In an interview with The Associated Press in August 2017, the woman at the center of the rumor denied having an affair with Trump.
KAREN MC DOUGAL
The prosecutor also cited the case of Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who received $150,000 from US media after claiming she had a 10-month affair with Trump in the mid-2000s. The money was intended to secure the rights to McDougal’s story, but never publish it, a practice known as “catch and kill”. The National Enquirer’s parent company acknowledged that the payments were made specifically to help Trump’s presidential campaign.
Bragg said Trump “explicitly” ordered attorney Michael Cohen, then working for the Trump Organization, to pay US media cash, then Cohen told Trump the payment had to be made by a front company . The alleged relationship between McDougal and Trump remained under wraps until a Wall Street Journal report days before Election Day 2016. Trump denied his allegation.
The third case involves porn actress Stormy Daniels, who was paid $130,000 for her silence about a sexual encounter with Trump in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, in 2006. Trump has denied the encounter.
Bragg said that 12 days before the Nov. 8, 2016, election, Cohen wired Daniels’ attorney $130,000 using a shell company backed by a Manhattan bank. Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, was paid after indicating she was willing to speak to the National Enquirer or on television to confirm the meeting.
Trump insisted to Air Force One reporters in April 2018 that he was unaware of the payment made to Daniels through Cohen. But Bragg said Tuesday that Trump repaid Cohen after his 2016 victory with money from two sources: a trust that held the assets of the Trump Organization and his personal bank account.
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