Longtime Trump confidante and ex-White House staffer Hope Hicks has apparently decided that her freedom is more important than President Donald Trump’s already muddied reputation, and is fully cooperating with prosecutors investigating the payoffs of hush money to at least two women — Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal — which is a violation of campaign finance law.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Hicks has been very helpful with the office of the Manhattan U.S Attorney:
“The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office has gathered more evidence than previously known in its criminal investigation of hush payments to two women who alleged affairs with Donald Trump, including from members of the president’s inner circle. Prosecutors interviewed Hope Hicks, a former close aide to Mr. Trump and White House communications director, last spring as part of their campaign-finance probe, which ultimately implicated the president in federal crimes.”
Hicks wasn’t the only former Trump staff member who has been extensively interviewed by prosecutors in Manhattan:
“They also spoke to Keith Schiller, Mr. Trump’s former security chief. Investigators learned of calls between Mr. Schiller and David Pecker, chief executive of the National Enquirer’s publisher, which has admitted it paid $150,000 to a former Playboy model on Mr. Trump’s behalf to keep her story under wraps.”
The Journal also noted that it had reviewed nearly 1,000 pages of court documents and interviewed at least 20 individuals who are familiar with the case for its report.
Trump was first implicated in the hush money scheme last December, when he was identified as “Individual-1” in charging documents filed against the president’s former attorney, Michael D. Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in federal prison on charges of campaign finance crimes and lying to Congress.
The news from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan came on the same evening as a report from the New York Times which revealed that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. has issued subpoenas for the Trump Organization and its role in the payments of money to women who say they had extramarital affairs with the president.
It seems easy to surmise that Vance will also subpoena Hicks and other members of Trump’s inner circle as part of his growing investigation.
Though it once appeared that Donald Trump might be able to escape his crimes and affairs, the latest news suggests otherwise.