Aug 1, 2019

Trump Organization subpoenaed by Manhattan prosecutors over hush money payments

Michael Cohen. Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for records related to hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels by Michael Cohen during the 2016 presidential campaign, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The Southern District of New York said earlier this month that it had "effectively concluded" its federal investigation into the payments without charging anyone except for Cohen, who is currently serving out a 3-year sentence for campaign finance violations. State prosecutors are now investigating whether the Trump Organization falsely listed its reimbursement of Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels as a legal expense, which would be illegal under New York law, per the Times.

  • Vance's prosecutors have also reportedly subpoenaed American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Inquirer, which admitted in December to making a $150,000 payment "in concert with" the Trump campaign to suppress a story about an alleged affair Trump had with former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
  • An attorney for the Trump Organization called the subpoena a "political hit job," telling the Times: "It’s just harassment of the president, his family and his business, using subpoenas as weapons. We will respond as appropriate."

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 1,920,061 — Total deaths: 109,802 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
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Protesters in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

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Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

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Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.