Oversight Chairman Cummings asks if DOJ guidelines kept Trump from being prosecuted

20 Juillet, 2019, 04:21 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Oversight Chairman Cummings asks if DOJ guidelines kept Trump from being prosecuted

Trout said that reports that Hicks was involved with conversations about "hush money" or knew payments were being discussed "are simply wrong".

He added that, "Ms. Hicks stands by her truthful testimony that she first became aware of this issue in early November 2016, as the result of press inquiries, and she will be responding formally to Chairman Nadler's letter as requested".

The documents detailed a "series of calls, text messages, and emails" between Cohen, Trump, Hicks, Daniels' attorney and then-National Enquirer chief David Pecker after the release of the "Access Hollywood" video in which Trump was heard bragging about assaulting women.

It said Cohen and Hicks spoke again for three minutes late on October 28, the day after Cohen had made the $130,000 payment to Daniels' lawyer and as the final paperwork for the deal was being drawn up.

The content of these calls is not known.

"Based on the timing of these calls, and the content of the text messages and emails, I believe that at least some of these communications concerned the need to prevent Clifford from going public, particularly in the wake of the Access Hollywood story", an FBI agent investigating the case wrote in the unsealed documents.

Some of the communications occurred in the immediate wake of an October 7, 2016, report published by The Washington Post about a recording in which Trump could be heard referring to women in vulgar terms, a moment of crisis for the campaign.

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The House Judiciary Committee called on Hicks to "clarify" her responses to the panel after the documents showed her testimony was "inconsistent with evidence" unsealed Thursday.

According to the affidavit, phone records show that Hicks called Cohen the following evening; 16 seconds into the call, records show that Trump joined the call, which continued for an additional four minutes.

Her lawyer, Robert Trout, issued a statement a day after newly unsealed Federal Bureau of Investigation documents raised new questions about Hicks' June 19 testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. But the president has denied having sex with Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, and said he had no knowledge at the time of payments to her.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Thursday evening sent a letter demanding that Hicks come before the House Judiciary Committee to clarify her testimony following the revelations from the court documents.

Before Oct. 8, Cohen had not spoken on the phone with Hicks for "at least" several weeks, the document said.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III, prosecutors said the government has "effectively concluded" its investigations of whether anyone other than Cohen was criminally liable for payments to Daniels and model Karen McDougal, who also said she had an affair with Trump, as well as whether anyone gave false statements in the case.

Cohen is serving three years in prison after pleading guilty last year to breaking campaign finance laws through the hush-money scheme, as well as other financial crimes.

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