Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen arranged for a $1.6 million hush payout to a former Playboy model on behalf of Elliott Broidy, a top donor to the Republican Party who had impregnated her last year.
According to the Journal's reporting, Broidy's affair with former Playboy model Shera Bechard ended with her having an abortion.
However, University of Colorado Boulder law professor Paul Campos lays out the evidence in New York Magazine that this abortion hush money payment was much more likely intended to protect President Donald Trump rather than Broidy.
First, Campos notes that the nondisclosure agreement allegedly signed by Broidy and the model both used the same pseudonyms -- "David Dennison" and "Peggy Peterson" -- that Cohen used in his nondisclosure agreement between Trump and adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Second, Campos argues that Trump had a longtime friendship with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner -- and that he was a frequent guest at the Playboy Mansion.
"Bechard was actually at one time Hefner’s girlfriend, while Trump and Hefner’s friendship mysteriously came to an end in 2016," writes Campos.
Campos then speculates that Broidy may have been willing to take both the public relations and financial hit that came with paying off Bechard in order to protect his own financial interests and to secure favors from the Trump administration.
"Broidy has a history of bribing public officials to enhance the economic prospects of his business ventures," he writes. "In 2009, he pleaded guilty to bribing New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi. As part of a plea deal which led to the convictions of seven of his co-conspirators, Broidy admitted he made more than one million dollars in illegal payouts and gifts to New York pension authorities."
And that's not all -- Campos says that a Wall Street Journal report from earlier this year shows that "Broidy was slated to make tens of millions of dollars by getting the Justice Department to drop a probe into a multibillion-dollar bribery scandal involving 1MDB, the Malaysian state investment fund." Additionally, the New York Times subsequently reported that Broidy recently has been aggressively "marketing his Trump connections to politicians and governments around the world" by claiming that he could arrange meetings with administration officials.