Stormy Daniels meets with prosecutors investigating Trump

FILE - Adult film actress Stormy Daniels arrives for the opening of the adult entertainment fair Venus in Berlin, on Oct. 11, 2018. Daniels' lawyer said she met Wednesday, March 15, 2023, with prosecutors who are investigating hush money paid to her on behalf of former President Donald Trump.(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)
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Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Stormy Daniels’ lawyer said the porn actor met with prosecutors Wednesday as former President Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer testified before a grand jury investigating hush money paid to Daniels on Trump’s behalf.

Daniels’ attorney, Clark Brewster, tweeted that Daniels met with and answered questions from Manhattan prosecutors and was willing to be a witness. The news came as Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, was giving his second day of testimony before the grand jury.

Daniels tweeted her thanks to her attorney for “helping me in our continuing fight for truth and justice.”

A message seeking comment was sent to the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

“I feel great,” Cohen told reporters as headed into what he expected to be his final day of testimony.

In the waning weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign, Cohen said he made a $130,000 payment on Trump’s behalf to Daniels, who at the time had been in negotiations to tell her story on television.

Daniels has said she had a 2006 sexual encounter with Trump that she didn’t want, but didn’t say no to. Trump says it never happened. The former president’s lawyer said Trump was invited to testify before the grand jury but has no plans to do so.

Federal prosecutors in 2018 charged Cohen with campaign finance crimes related to the payment, and a similar $150,000 payout he helped arrange to the Playboy model Karen McDougal, arguing that they amounted to impermissible gifts to Trump’s election effort. Trump also denied having an affair with McDougal.

Cohen pleaded guilty. Trump was never charged by federal prosecutors, however. Manhattan prosecutors have been examining whether any state laws were broken in connection with the payments or the way Cohen was paid by the Trump Organization for his work to cover up the alleged affairs.

Cohen and federal prosecutors said the company paid him $420,000 to reimburse him for the payment to Daniels and to cover bonuses and other supposed expenses. The company classified those payments internally as legal expenses.

Falsifying business records can be a misdemeanor under state law, or a felony if the fudging of paperwork is done in connection with a more serious crime.

Trump and his lawyers have said he was extorted into paying the money to Daniels and should be considered the victim in the investigation. Daniels and the lawyers who helped arrange the payment have denied extorting anyone.