The lawyer who worked out hush-money payments in 2016 on behalf of two women who claimed to have actually participated in extramarital relationships with President Donald Trump believes the president might still be in legal jeopardy for his supposed role in directing efforts to silence them, pointing out language prosecutors used in an indictment of his former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, in 2015.
“It’s clear that [federal prosecutors] declared that [Cohen] was part of a criminal conspiracy to commit campaign financing laws,” Keith Davidson, the former attorney for adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal, informed ABC News on an episode of “The Investigation,” adding, “and by meaning, a conspiracy must include more than someone– so who else could it be?”
In court documents submitted in December, U.S. attorneys in the Southern District of New york city looked for to directly link the president to those project financing offenses, writing that Cohen acted “in coordination with and at the direction of” then-candidate Trump. Cohen pleaded guilty in August 2018 to 2 counts of campaign financing offenses for executing the hush-money offers, which he said he did at the president’s direction.
Davidson states he met Manhattan-based federal district attorneys for more than 15 hours and turned over more than 1,500 documents as part of their investigation into potential campaign finance offenses and the president’s inauguration committee.
“Taking a seat with the Southern District for so long and the proficiency on that team can not be downplayed,” Davidson stated. “I suggest they are incredibly efficient, brilliant, targeted, focused, no rubbish.”
Over the course of his prolonged meeting with the Manhattan U.S. lawyer’s workplace, Davidson said it “became clear” to him that prosecutors believe the payments were made in an effort to restore Trump’s project for president, further enmeshing him in a possible project financing conspiracy.
In an interview Monday on “Good Morning America,” Davidson said he believes the hush-money payments were “done for political reasons,” as opposed to individual protection of his family, and claimed the release of the notorious “Gain access to Hollywood” tape triggered the urgency behind cutting a deal with Daniels.
“They learnt about [Daniels’ allegations] when he declared to end up being president, they knew about it when he ended up being the Republican candidate,” Davidson said. “And it wasn’t until after the ‘Gain access to Hollywood’ tape aired that the case ultimately settled.”
Davidson represented Daniels in the offer– worked out directly with Cohen– worth $130,000, a figure Davidson now states “would have been a hell of a lot greater” had he come up with it, and took on McDougal as a client in her dealings with American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, in what turned out to be a “catch-and-kill” deal worth $150,000
Both Daniels and McDougal have criticized Davidson’s legal performance, leading Daniels to file a lawsuit versus Davidson in June 2018, in which she called him a “puppet” for Trump. Davidson rejected the charge and later on submitted a countersuit, which he ultimately dropped. Daniels’ claim has actually been stayed up until related investigations are completed.
AMI admitted in 2015 to paying off McDougal to “reduce the lady’s story so as to avoid it from influencing the election” as part of a non-prosecution contract.
On “The Examination,” Davidson described a conference with McDougal and the CEO of AMI, David Pecker– who Davidson said delighted in a “close, personal relationship” with Trump– during which Davidson states Pecker sold McDougal on the offer by suggesting he could introduce her career and assured splendour on the scale of Kylie Jenner.
“It was an unbelievable conference and there were even more promises that were made to her at that meeting,” Davidson said. “So the situation really worsened, not much better.”
During the Daniels negotiation, Davidson says he grew close to Cohen. He declares the two spoke “most likely 100, 200 times,” and shared an unconventional bond over the nature of their service relationship.
“When you deal with the subjects that we were dealing with– confidential matters– there’s few individuals to talk with about it,” Davidson stated. “So since we had done this offer and discussed private matters, I seem like a few of the common protections in human relationships sort of dissipated and there were a lot of confidences that were shared.”
However Davidson states in all their discussions, one aspect of Cohen’s life and work remained “front and center.”
“He liked his association with Donald Trump,” Davidson said. “He embraced his function in Donald Trump’s life as being Donald Trump’s protector, and he never ever lacked an opportunity to remind you of that.”
” The Examination” is a podcast series using an extensive appearance at unique counsel Robert Mueller’s examination into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its consequences, examining the possible fallout and political repercussions. Hosted by ABC News reporter Kyra Phillips and the ABC News investigative team, led by Elder Executive Manufacturer Chris Vlasto. “The Examination” is offered for free on Apple Podcasts (via iPhone), Google Podcasts (by means of Android), Spotify (by means of mobile phone and desktop), Stitcher (by means of mobile phone and desktop), TuneIn (through smartphone and desktop), the ABC News app (through your mobile phone) or your favorite podcast player.