SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory - Dense Fog Advisory View Alerts

Trump was at August 2015 meeting about hush money payments, source says

Donald Trump attended an August 2015 meeting that federal prosecutors believe was central to a criminal sche...

Posted: Dec 14, 2018 9:45 AM
Updated: Dec 14, 2018 9:46 AM

Donald Trump attended an August 2015 meeting that federal prosecutors believe was central to a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws to help Trump win the presidency, according to a source familiar with the matter.

According to court filings, Trump was joined by Michael Cohen, who was his attorney at the time, and David Pecker, the chairman of American Media Inc., parent company of the National Enquirer.

Donald Trump

Political Figures - US

American Media Inc

Business figures

Campaign finance

Companies

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal law

David Pecker

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Law and legal system

Michael Cohen

Misc people

Politics

During the meeting, the group discussed a plan to shield Trump from potentially damaging stories. Prosecutors say this amounted to illegal donations to Trump's campaign.

Trump's attendance was first reported by the Wall Street Journal in a November article. The meeting returned to the spotlight Wednesday when federal prosecutors announced that they agreed not to prosecute AMI for campaign finance violations in exchange for its cooperation.

The newspaper reported that Trump asked Pecker what he could do to help his presidential campaign.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan mentioned the meeting when they charged Cohen over the summer with two campaign finance violations. Those crimes related to hush-money payments to two women who alleged affairs with Trump. For his part, Trump has denied the affairs.

Prosecutors also described the meeting in the AMI agreement, which became public Wednesday.

That document said Cohen, Pecker, and "one or more members of the campaign" met in August 2015. At that meeting, "Pecker offered to help deal with negative stories about that presidential candidate's relationships with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased, and their publication avoided."

AMI now admits that after that meeting, Pecker agreed to "keep Cohen appraised" of negative stories about Trump. The tabloid played a role in facilitating the hush-money payments against the women, Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels, in the months leading up to the 2016 election.

Pecker and AMI haven't been charged with any crimes. Trump denies involvement in the scheme, and said Thursday that the "did nothing wrong with respect to campaign finance laws."

But Cohen has pleaded guilty the campaign finance violations, and seven unrelated crimes. He said in court that the hush-money payments were made at Trump's direction, and that the goal of the payments was to stop the women from telling their stories before the election.

Article Comments

Mason City
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 5°
Feels Like: 30°
Albert Lea
Overcast
28° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 1°
Feels Like: 28°
Austin
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 3°
Feels Like: 30°
Charles City
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 5°
Feels Like: 34°
Rochester
Overcast
26° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: -2°
Feels Like: 21°
Winter is roaring back
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Food Box Challenge

Image

Worth County's Shop with a Cop

Image

KIMT News 3 participates in Toys for Tots Drive

Image

Polar Bear Dip in Clear Lake

Image

House fire serves as reminder to have working smoke detectors

Image

Rochester Community Warming Center needs volunteers

Image

Sean Macaday Weather 12/8

Image

Gift Quality Book and Bake Sale

Image

Reading Center celebrates grand opening of new building

Image

Christmas by the Lake

Community Events