Hope Hicks meets with New York prosecutors investigating Trump

NEW YORK (AP) — Former spokesperson for Donald Trump Hope Hicks On Monday, I met with Manhattan prosecutors investigating hush-money payments made to women on behalf of the former president.

Hicks and her attorney Robert Trout were spotted walking to a waiting SUV after spending several hours in the Manhattan district attorney’s office. didn’t even say

Trout declined to comment. The district attorney’s office also declined to comment and did not confirm that prosecutors interviewed Hicks.

Hicks served as Trump’s press secretary during the 2016 election campaign and served as Trump’s press secretary in the final weeks before the election in a feverish effort to keep the press out of allegations of him, according to court records from the Federal Investigation. said on the phone. Hicks has since held various roles at the White House, including communications director.

Last week, prosecutors questioned Cohen, who arranged payments to two women, and former Trump political adviser Kellyanne Conway.

Cohen told reporters after last Friday’s session that the investigation was “really moving forward”.

“The level of specificity with which they attack different issues is extraordinary,” Cohen said, adding that he met with prosecutors 18 times in several iterations of the investigation.

In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to federal charges, including campaign finance violations, for arranging payments to porn actor Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal to keep them out of the public eye. Trump has denied the allegations.

Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 through his company and was subsequently reimbursed by Trump, who recorded the reimbursement as a “legal expense.” McDougal’s $150,000 payment was made through the publishers of the National Enquirer, a supermarket tabloid. The National Enquirer squashed her story with a journalistically dubious practice known as “catch and kill.”

According to court records for the federal investigation, Hicks spoke with Trump and Cohen for several minutes on the phone on Oct. 8, 2016. This was the day after the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape was released, in which Trump boasted in graphic detail about his acquisition of women’s personal items. genital.

Cohen, concerned that reports about Trump’s allegations would irreparably harm his campaign, then spoke with a senior National Enquirer executive before calling Trump, according to the records. bottom. Cohen then called Trump again at 8:03 p.m., spoke for eight minutes, and then made another call, sending a text message involving Cohen and National Enquirer executives.

The hush payment to McDougal remained secret until days before the election when the Wall Street Journal published an article. Cohen and Hicks expressed mutual relief that the story did not get the attention they feared, according to court records.

“So far, I’ve only seen six episodes. Records show Cohen texted.

“Same. Keep praying!! It’s working!” Hicks replied.

Last year, Hicks House January 6 Committeetold the panel that Trump had told her that no one would care about his legacy if he lost the 2020 election. Only,” he said.

Hicks was also an important witness Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe provided key information about Trump’s attempts to sabotage the investigation.

As for the hush-money investigation, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office decided not to personally prosecute Trump for the payment. , started investigating payment.

Trump was not indicted while Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. was in office. The company said he was convicted of tax evasion in December and fined $1.6 million.

Alvin Bragg, the current district attorney, has shown renewed interest in pursuing more charges, perhaps against Trump himself. Doing so is unprecedented. No former president has been charged with a crime.

A lawyer for Conway did not respond to multiple messages about last week’s meeting with prosecutors, first reported by The New York Times.

Mr Trump’s lawyers say the payments to the two women did not violate the law. Mr Trump has said the investigation was politically motivated.