Unsealed warrants just directly implicated Trump in porn star hush money felony

Newly unsealed documents from the search warrants used to break open the case against Trump’s personal lawyer have finally implicated President Trump directly in his illegal efforts to cover up his extramarital affair with a porn star at a key moment in the 2016 election.

President Trump has long lied about his involvement in the sloppy and open conspiracy between the candidate, the campaign and Cohen to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act.

The documents reveal that it was the Special Counsel’s Office which started the investigation and that the FBI had a wealth of evidence before they executed the startling raid that led to Michael Cohen’s imprisonment and his conversion into an anti-Trump figure. It also lays bare Cohen’s numerous lies to major banks.

We Bet These Will Cheer You Up in a Second
Inspiredot
Better Than Solar Panels? Prepper's Invention Takes Nation by Storm!
Patriot Advance Report
This Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It's Deleted
Daily Trend Club

Lastly, the warrants demonstrate how executives of National Enquirer’s parent company AMI held a central role in the plot.

Earlier this week, Southern District of New York Judge William Pauley ordered the records unsealed because they’re a matter of “national importance.”

Today, the unsealed search warrants with minimal redactions revealed a campaign intent on burying porn star and director Stormy Daniels’ true story of an extramarital affair and President Trump’s frequent participation alongside Trump campaign press secretary Hope Hicks.

FBI agents working with Mueller discovered the hush money conspiracy in late November 2017, long before news reports broke the story wide open. They sent it all off to the SDNY US Attorney’s office in early February 2018, who only took six months to convict Trump’s former personal lawyer on multiple counts of fraud and FEC violations.

One passage in the documents, in particular, demonstrates how Michael Cohen was generally not speaking with either Trump or Hicks until the story of the infamous Access Hollywood tape broke.

It’s an important detail that demonstrates the involvement of the Trump Campaign and the news about it.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David A. Farenthold’s story in the Washington Post is what spurred Cohen to suddenly became interested in burying the true story of Trump’s affair with Stormy Daniels.

After that, AMI’s president David Pecker, Cohen and Hicks held a lengthy series of discussions, mostly rapid-fire calls lasting a few minutes each.

Those calls happened approximately a month after the previously disclosed, taped recording of Cohen and Trump discussing their hush money payoff to former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal.

AMI and the Enquirer acted as Trump’s agent for that illegal campaign contribution – itself also an illegal corporate contribution – and later when discussing the fallout from the first public disclosure of a potential deal to silence McDougal arose in a Wall Street Journal story.

AMI Vice President Dylan Howard was revealed to have been actively pushing the former model to make a public statement on the record denying her affair with Trump. His message to Cohen about the hush money deal’s illusory employment agreement is telling about the company’s role.

In fact, the Enquirer was far more deeply involved than anyone has known to date, even acting as an intermediary between Trump’s lawyer and Stormy Daniels’ slimy counsel Keith Davidson at one point.

It was Howard who confirmed to both parties by email that a hush-money deal was done.

It’s hard to understand why a lawyer like Cohen would use a non-lawyer like a news company executive as a transactional intermediary, since there’s no manner of attorney-client privilege.

But it appears from the many messages that AMI’s Dylan Howard has a real familiarity with the customs of “catch and kill” stories, where a publication buys the story rights and buries them, or executes a hush-money deal for a politician.

That wouldn’t be the only sloppy part of the transaction revealed by today’s warrants.

Delaware corporations offer too much anonymity for shady dealings, but Michael Cohen would have none of that. He brazenly decided to place his home address right onto the illegal hush-money payment.

The unsealed warrant shows that Cohen, Hicks, Pecker, and Howard held another series of phone calls discussing the impact of their hush money deal and the campaign’s media coverage, as well as their efforts to impact that coverage.

It’s still unclear why AMI’s Pecker and Howard received a non-prosecution agreement because they appear to have been the key middlemen in the deal.

Puzzling too is why the former Trump White House Communications Director Hope Hicks was not charged in the conspiracy to violate the campaign finance laws. It’s apparent that her coordination as the campaign’s top press contact was essential to the task.

Prosecutors say they’re unlikely to bring more charges, which is probably because of the DOJ’s legal memo saying that the president is above the law and Attorney General Bill Barr’s strict enforcement of that stricture.

These unsealed documents prove that President Trump has totally destroyed the phrase “crime never pays” because he used a major campaign crime to win an election that has now placed him entirely above the law.

You can read the complete unsealed Michael Cohen search warrant here.

Follow Grant Stern on Twitter @grantstern and check out his first book, Meet the Candidates 2020: Elizabeth Warren and Meet the Candidates 2020: Kamala Harris are both on sale today as part of his Meet the Candidates 2020 Series of voters guides.

Join millions calling for AG Barr to resign after he defied his constitutional obligations to protect Trump!

Grant Stern

Editor at Large

Grant Stern is a columnist for the Washington Press. He's also mortgage broker, writer, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida.


What do you think?