Former President Donald Trump's one-time strategist and White House adviser Kellyanne Conway met with prosecutors working with the Manhattan District Attorney's office, reported The New York Times on Wednesday.
This comes as DA Alvin Bragg is ramping up a criminal probe into the $130,000 hush payment the former president arranged through his former attorney Michael Cohen to buy the silence of adult film star Stormy Daniels into a consensual affair the two had, to prevent it going public in the 2016 campaign.
"Mr. Cohen has said that Ms. Conway played a small yet notable role in the payment: It was she whom Mr. Cohen told that the payment had been made, he wrote in his 2020 memoir," reported Sean Piccoli, Jonah E. Bromwich, Ben Protess, and William K. Rashbaum. "'I called Trump to confirm that the transaction was completed, and the documentation all in place, but he didn’t take my call — obviously a very bad sign, in hindsight,' he wrote. Instead, he wrote, Ms. Conway 'called and said she’d pass along the good news.'"
"Ms. Conway, who was seen walking into the district attorney’s office shortly before 2 p.m. on Wednesday, is the latest in a string of witnesses to meet with prosecutors in the last month or so," said the report. "Since the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, impaneled a grand jury in January to hear evidence about Mr. Trump’s role in paying the hush money, at least five witnesses have testified: Jeffrey McConney and Deborah Tarasoff, employees of Mr. Trump’s company; David Pecker and Dylan Howard, two former leaders of The National Enquirer, which helped arrange the hush money deal; and Keith Davidson, a former lawyer for Ms. Daniels."
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Cohen himself pleaded guilty in 2018 to bank fraud, tax evasion, and illegal campaign finance over the incident. He was sentenced to three years in prison, was released in 2021, and has since come out publicly about Trump's operations in the media. He, too, has met with prosecutors as part of the new investigation.
Bragg previously closed the book on an investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices with convictions against the business itself and a plea deal for the Trump family's top accountant Allen Weisselberg, but stopped short of charging the former president himself, a move which drew criticism at the time by legal experts, including members of his own office. The new investigation into the hush payments once again raises the potential that Trump could face criminal prosecution.