Tuesday, June 6

The investigation into Trump also affects the payment to silence a relationship with a second woman

The investigation of the New York prosecutor’s office into the alleged payments by Donald Trump to silence a porn actress, Stormy Daniels, with whom he had had an extramarital relationship shortly before the elections, affects a second woman. According to ‘The Wall Street Journal’, it is Karen McDougal, who was a model for ‘Playboy’ magazine and who defended that she had a ten-month affair with Trump in 2006, the same year that the now former president met Daniels. Those investigations ended Trump’s indictment this Thursday, the first time it has happened for a former US president.

The story is well known: a few days before the 2016 election, the same New York newspaper published that the company that owns the ‘National Enquirer’, a pro-Trump tabloid, had silencing romance with the extramarital relationship with a payment of $150,000. McDougal, who had been ‘Playboy’ model of the year in 1998, could be dangerous to Trump’s electoral interests, who was risking his rise to the White House. At the date McDougal placed the alleged affair, 2006, Trump was married to his current wife, Melania, and they have just had a son.

Any skirt story related to Trump — an admitted ladies’ man on his third marriage — could pay off in the summer of 2016, when the New York billionaire needed to win over conservative voters.

McDougal tried to sell his story and the one who bought it from him was the ‘National Enquirer’. But not to publish it, quite the opposite. It is the so-called ‘catch and kill’ tactic, in which the rights to a story to mute it.

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The top person in charge of the tabloid is David Pecker, CEO of the American Media publisher, who negotiated the payment with Trump’s lawyer and shady deal maker, Michael Cohen. They did it through a company interposed to keep both Pecker and Trump out of the operation. Cohen also tried to get Pecker to make the same move with the porn actress story. But with Daniels he did not go ahead and it was Cohen who paid the woman directly, in his case, $130,000.

Cohen, under investigation for these payments, pleaded guilty in 2018 to violation of the election finance law, falsifying financial documents and tax evasion, charges similar to those that Trump could now face.

It was within an agreement with the authorities, by which the lawyer cooperated with the investigation and testified before the authorities that it was the former president who ordered him to make the payments to Daniels and to coordinate with Pecker to kill the McDougal story.

The information from ‘The Wall Street Journal’ now indicates that the case of the ‘Playmate’ model could serve to increase Trump’s charges or to reinforce that those of Daniels were part of a pattern of conduct to avoid electoral damage.

Both Cohen and Pecker have been questioned before the grand jury that must make the decision on the imputation of the former president. In addition to these testimonies, Trump’s own words implicate him in the operation, since Cohen recorded a conversation in which they discussed how to reimburse the payment made to the ‘National Enquirer’.

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Pecker was called in for questioning again this week, one of the reasons the determination on the filing of charges had been delayed.


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