Hope Hicks may have been part of Stormy Daniels hush-money discussions
WASHINGTON – New court filings show Hope Hicks, then press secretary of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign, might have been present for discussions about hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, the adult-film actress who had claimed to have had an affair with Trump – potentially contradicting Hicks’ June 2019 testimony to the House Judiciary Committee.
In the filings, authorities laid out a timeline of emails, text messages and phone calls – some involving Trump himself – that “concerned the need to prevent” Daniels from going public with her claims.
The FBI agent investigating the case had concluded, “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.”
The documents, part of the FBI’s investigation of the hush-money scheme, show that Trump Organization lawyer Michael Cohen was in touch with Hicks throughout the process.
Robert Trout and Gloria Solomon, Hicks’ attorneys, have not responded to repeated requests for comment.
After the Washington Post published its story on the “Access Hollywood” tape in October 2016, the Trump campaign learned that Daniels was planning to talk to Good Morning America and Slate Magazine about her alleged relationship with Trump.
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On October 8, Hicks and Cohen spoke several times on the phone, immediately after which Cohen called David Pecker and Dylan Howard, the heads of American Media Inc., publisher of the National Enquirer, about buying rights to the story about the alleged affair to keep it from becoming public, a tactic known as catch and kill.
Cohen then called Hicks again after his call with Howard, and then called Trump again later that night.
The content of these calls is not known.
During her June 2019 testimony before the Judiciary Committee, Hicks said she was not present during Trump and Cohen’s discussion of Stormy Daniels and that she never witnessed any discussion of payments to women during the campaign, and that she was “never present for a conversation” about Daniels.
She also claimed she had no “direct knowledge” whether Trump knew Cohen made payments to Daniels during the campaign.
The House Judiciary Committee has not responded to requests for comment.
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A footnote in the documents notes Hicks had previously told the FBI, “to the best of her recollection, she did not learn about the allegations made by Clifford until early November 2016” though she was never asked by the FBI about the call between Trump, Cohen, and herself.
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