In the grand jury inquiry investigating his role in the $130,000 hush money paid to Stormy Daniels. a former pornstar during the presidential election of 2016, former President Donald Trump has “no plans,” according to his attorney, to appear in court.
Attorney for Trump Joe Tacopina said on Monday to ABC News, “We have no plans to participate in that litigation. A decision still needs to be made. We will wait and see as no deadline has been established.”
Five years have passed since the start of the criminal inquiry into Trump’s payment to Daniels, who claims to have had an affair with the former president. The lawsuit centers on a payment that Michael Cohen, a former Trump lawyer who pleaded guilty to felony charges associated with the payment, made to Stormy Daniels during the election.
According to the New York Times, Cohen will testify this week, which is a “sign that prosecutors are preparing to arrest the former president for his participation in paying hush money,” according to the story.
The number of pertinent witnesses questioned in front of the grand jury plus the opportunity for Trump to testify, according to the source, make it extremely improbable that prosecutors will decide not to seek an indictment at this time.
Throughout the campaign, Daniels’ representatives contacted the National Enquirer about her story, but the newspaper was not keen on purchasing the exclusive rights to it. The publisher of the magazine helped Cohen and Daniels come to an agreement.
How his business paid Cohen for the hush money poses a possible issue for Trump. The corporation referenced a retainer agreement with Cohen and characterized the amount as a legal expense. The compensation was unrelated to any legal services Cohen provided, and there was no retainer agreement, which might lead to a misdemeanor criminal charge of manipulating business records. According to the report, Trump himself signed a number of the checks to Cohen while he was still in office.
The New York Times stated last week that if prosecutors can demonstrate that Trump’s “‘purpose to defraud’ included an intent to commit or conceal a second crime,” they can upgrade the misdemeanor to a felony.
The second felony, according to the prosecution, is that the $130,000 hush payment was an illegal donation to the Trump campaign since it was used to bury a story in order to help him win the presidency.