Source Says Trump Was At 2015 Meeting About Hush Money Payments

President Donald Trump allegedly attended a meeting, which prosecutors believe was central to a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws and help him become president, a source familiar with the matter claims.

Trump was joined by then-lawyer Michael Cohen and the chairman of American Medi Inc., David Pecker, court filings show. The aim of the meeting was to devise a plan to protect Trump from potentially damaging stories.

An article by The Wall Street Journal published last month first shed light on Trump’s attendance at the meeting, which again came in the focus on Wednesday when federal prosecutors announced they wouldn’t prosecute AMI for campaign finance violations in exchange for its cooperation.

According to the Journal, Trump asked Pecker what he could do to help his presidential campaign, CNN informs.

The meeting was also mentioned over the summer when federal prosecutors charged Cohen with two campaign finance violations, as well as in the AMI agreement made available to the public on Wednesday.

The document details how Cohen, Pecker and “one or more members of the campaign” met in August 2015 and “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.”

The tabloid has admitted it played a significant role in facilitating the hush-money payments to the women, Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels, prior to the presidential election.

President Trump has denied any wrongdoing “with respect to campaign finance laws.”

His former lawyer, on the other hand, contradicted his claim, saying in court that the hush-money payments were made at Trump’s direction with the aim to stop the women from telling their stories before the election.

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