President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen implicated Trump directly in the payment of hush money to Stormy Daniels. In August 2017, Trump wrote a check to Cohen for $35,000, he testified, submitting a copy of one of the checks into evidence.
“The president of the United States thus wrote a personal check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws,” Cohen testified.
Cohen did not say that Trump was aware that the payments would violate campaign finance laws. But he did testify that Trump directed him to make the payment from Cohen’s personal home equity line of credit in order to prevent the money from being traced back to Trump or his presidential campaign.
Prosecutors have to prove that a person had knowledge that a payment would violate the law in order to prosecute a violation of campaign finance laws. Cohen also testified that Trump told him to lie to his wife, Melania.
“He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair, and to lie to his wife about it, which I did. Lying to the first lady is one of my biggest regrets. She is a kind, good person, and I respect her greatly – and she did not deserve that.”