‘Political hit job’: Trump Org subpoenaed by Manhattan DA over nondisclosure payment to Stormy Daniels

(Photo by Ralf Hirschberger/picture alliance via Getty Images)

For President Donald Trump, the wolf is always at the door, be it in Washington, D.C., or home in New York City.

Following the cue of congressional Democrats set on rehashing the Russian collusion investigation, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is reviving an investigation into payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., whose father served at President Carter’s Secretary of State, subpoenaed the Trump Organization on Thursday for any documents related to a nondisclosure payment made to Daniels amid the 2016 presidential campaign, according to the New York Times.

This being the $130,000 payment Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen gave the porn star — Trump is adamant that he did not have an affair with Daniels. The Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen for the payment.

The revived investigation is probing whether the reimbursement was falsely listed as a legal expense, a violation of New York state law.

The effort by prosecutors, as described by the Times, sounds a lot like a fishing expedition:

The subpoena, issued by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, demanded the Trump Organization provide documents related to money that had been used to buy the silence of Stormy Daniels, a pornographic film actress who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump.

The inquiry from the district attorney’s office, which is in early stages, is examining whether any senior executives at the company filed false business records about the hush money, which would be a state crime, the people said.

Trump Organization attorney Marc L. Mukasey went beyond calling it a fishing expedition, labeling the effort as a “political hit job.”

“It’s just harassment of the president, his family and his business, using subpoenas as weapons. We will respond as appropriate,” Mukasey said.

Of course, House Democrats set the precedent here in the multiple partisan probes of Trump they have underway.

Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws with payments to Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who also claimed to have an affair with Trump.

American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, was also subpoenaed, the Times reported.

Cohen was involved in arranging a deal where the publisher of the National Enquirer bought the rights to McDougal’s claim of an alleging an affair with Trump, with no intentions of ever running the story.

The Times reported that all this time, money and effort is being put forth to what amounts to a minor false business filing charge.

“Even if the new investigation ultimately leads to charges, state law would limit the severity of the punishment. A charge of filing false business records could amount to a misdemeanor. It becomes a felony only if prosecutors can prove that the filing was done to commit or conceal another crime,” the newspaper reported.

 

Tom Tillison

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