According to reports, prosecutors working for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. are reconsidering whether former president Donald Trump can face criminal charges as a result of the $130,000 payment his firm made to conceal his affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
The New York Times reports that Bragg’s office recently attempted to revive a long-dormant probe into the payments, which federal prosecutors used as evidence to prosecute Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, for violations of campaign finance law.
In order to prevent Daniels, whose true name is Stephanie Clifford, from disclosing her relationship with Trump during the final weeks of his 2016 presidential campaign, Cohen paid her $130,000.
He acknowledged paying the payments, which Trump’s real estate and licensing business reimbursed him for as legal costs.
According to the former attorney for the Trump Organization, Bragg’s office has not expressed any interest in the hush-money issue.
“As of this writing, I have not personally spoken to DA. Bragg or any member of his team. The Trump-Stormy Daniels saga has been widely reported; including that my actions were done at the direction of and for the benefit of Donald J. Trump,” he said.
When the Trump Organization paid by characterizing the payments as legal costs, Cyrus Vance Jr., Bragg’s predecessor, considered whether doing so would have violated New York State law by falsifying company records.
Later, Vance served a subpoena on Trump’s old accounting company for access to his financial documents and prevailed in court against the ex-legal president’s team. However, the investigation was later abandoned when the prosecution decided to concentrate on the suspected tax evasion by the Trump Organization’s executives through the use of excessive executive fringe benefits.
The fact that the presidential election was for a federal position prevented prosecutors from pursuing a plan to accuse Trump of breaking a state election law.