Donald Trump, who allegedly paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money in 2016 before the U.S. Presidential elections, is now on trial. Daniels claimed in her Peacock documentary, Stormy, that Trump’s then-lawyer-turned-fixer Michael Cohen made the payment on the former president’s behalf. The hush money payment was so she would keep quiet about her alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump to avoid a scandal.

Michael Cohen initially claimed that Trump never made him pay Daniels. He asserted it was his own decision to do so. However, according to BBC, in 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion and charges of breaking campaign finance rules. These charges were for making the payment to Daniels and another woman, an alleged lover of the former president. Following this, Cohen testified that he made the payment under Trump’s direction, who later reimbursed him.

Donald Trump has denied the allegations that Stormy Daniels and Cohen have made. He is now on trial on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. These charges stemmed from the alleged cover-up surrounding the $130,000 payment made to Stormy Daniels. He then became the first-ever former U.S. President to face a criminal indictment. Daniels is testifying as the prosecution’s star witness in Trump’s hush money trial.

The hush money allegations and Donald Trump’s alleged sexual encounter with Stormy Daniels first surfaced in 2018. Daniels alleged that the incident occurred while Trump was married to Melania Trump in 2006, reported Reuters. Daniels also talked about the alleged affair, which occurred in a Lake Tahoe resort during a celebrity golf tournament, in her Peacock documentary Stormy. Additionally, the adult film actress discussed her life after the revelations.

Why is Donald Trump on trial for allegedly paying Stormy Daniels hush money?

Former U.S. President Donald Trump is on trial for falsifying financial records after allegedly paying Stormy Daniels hush money. The Guardian stated that in 2016, before the presidential elections, Trump allegedly paid Daniels $130,000 via his then-fixer Michael Cohen. The payment was to keep Daniels quiet about her alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump, who was married to Melania Trump at the time. Prosecutors have alleged that Trump then reimbursed Cohen. This payment to Cohen appeared as legal fees in his financial records.

According to BBC, District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleged that Trump’s alleged payment to Daniels was an attempt “to conceal crimes.” Bragg stated that he “hid damaging information from the voting public.” Prosecutors have further accused Trump of breaking “the law by falsifying his business records” as he attempted to conceal these illegal payments, per The Guardian. They believe he wanted to protect his chances during the 2016 presidential election.

The outlet stated that Bragg said, “This charge, it can be said, is the bread and butter of our white-collar work.” He first announced the charges against Donald Trump in April 2023 in the Stormy Daniels hush money case. The DA added how Trump’s case “is one with allegations like so many of our white-collar cases. He claimed their case is based on “allegations that someone lied again and again to protect their interests and evade the laws to which we are all held accountable.”

USA Today reported that Stormy Daniels gave a detailed account of her alleged sexual encounter with Donald Trump in her Peacock documentary. Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, claimed the incident occurred in July 2006 during the American Century Championship, per People Magazine. They first met during the golf tournament when Trump, then 60, invited her to his room for dinner. She was 27 years old at the time.

Daniels claimed she initially hesitated to accept Trump’s offer and even declined his invitation. However, her publicist urged her to go as it would make for a “good story” and told her to “get a good laugh out of it.” The actress revealed that they engaged in “good conversation” at first during their meeting in Trump’s room, but after she went to the bathroom and came out, she found herself cornered.

Recounting her alleged sexual encounter with Donald Trump, Stormy Daniels claimed, “I don’t remember how I got on the bed.” She said in the Peacock documentary, “The next thing I know, he [Trump] was humping away and telling me how great I was. It was awful, but I didn’t say no.” The adult film star alleged it was the only sexual encounter between the two but added that they met multiple times after that.

Among other matters, Daniels also talked about the alleged hush money payment Trump made via his then-fixer, Michael Cohen. According to USA Today, she claimed to have signed an NDA at the time “to keep the story from coming out” after receiving the hush money payment of $130,000. The actress alleged she accepted the payment back then to protect her family. She believed “a paper trail and money trail linking me to Donald Trump” would stop him from getting her killed.

Stormy Daniels also discussed the harassment she has faced over the years ever since she first came out with the allegations against Donald Trump. She talked about an alleged incident in a Las Vegas parking lot when a stranger threatened her and her daughter. Additionally, Daniels addressed the hate comments and death and rape threats she constantly got on social media.

Daniels’ Peacock documentary Stormy is now available to stream on the platform.

Nikita Mahato

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When Did Donald Trump Allegedly Pay Stormy Daniels Hush Money?