WSJ: Trump personally arranged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal

Trump was involved in "nearly every step," according to a bombshell new Wall Street Journal report

Published November 9, 2018 5:28PM (EST)

Stormy Daniels; Donald Trump;  Karen McDougal (AP/Matt Sayles/Evan Vucci/Getty/Dimitrios Kambouris)
Stormy Daniels; Donald Trump; Karen McDougal (AP/Matt Sayles/Evan Vucci/Getty/Dimitrios Kambouris)

President Donald Trump was involved in "nearly every step" in the plots to silence adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal, who both alleged to have had sexual affairs with the president before he entered the Oval Office.

The Wall Street Journal, citing dozens of interviews and documents, reported on Friday that Trump may have violated federal campaign finance laws through his involvement in the deals. The Journal reported that as a presidential candidate, Trump "directed deals in phone calls and meetings" related to the women with  Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, and recently reborn Democrat. The U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan, which prosecuted Cohen, now has evidence of Trump's involvement in the agreement, according to the Wall Street Journal.`

Stormy Daniels is currently suing the president and Cohen in connection with a nondisclosure agreement. She alleges that she had an affair with Trump in 2006 and that the former real estate mogul paid her $130,000 during the 2016 presidential campaign in exchange for her silence. Trump has denied he had sex with Daniels and claimed he does not know anything about the payment she received from Cohen. The Journal, however, reports that  in October 2016, when discussing making a payment to Daniels, Trump told Cohen to "get it done."

Cohen pleaded guilty in August to campaign finance charges, and admitted that he paid off Daniels and McDougal at the direction of a political candidate "for the principal purpose of influencing the election." At the time, Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, said that Cohen had fulfilled his promise to put his family and country ahead of his loyalty to Trump.

"He stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal purpose of influencing an election," Davis said. "If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn't they be a crime for Donald Trump?"

Davis has previously claimed that his client provided "critical information" to Mueller's team, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump.

Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, said the WSJ article "further confirms what we have been saying and alleging for months."

"There can be no question now as to the validity of our allegations," he wrote on Twitter. "I look forward to the apologies directed at my honest and heroic client @StormyDaniels."

In a subsequent tweet, Avenatti wrote, "In light of the sworn testimony and evidence relating to the payment to my client and Trump's involvement (confirming our allegations), we are calling for the immediate indictment of the president. No one is above the law in the United States."

By Shira Tarlo

MORE FROM Shira Tarlo

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Donald Trump Karen Mcdougal Michael Cohen Potus President Donald Trump President Trump Stormy Daniels