Former Trump aide Hope Hicks to testify in Stormy Daniels ‘hush money’ trial

Former Trump aide Hope Hicks is expected to testify in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal trial against former President Donald Trump over an alleged $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels — the trial is expected to begin April 15.

That’s according to NBC News, which reported that Hicks “met for several hours last year with the Manhattan prosecutors who… allege that the former president falsified records relating to a hush money payment his then-lawyer Michael Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign.”

“An attorney for Hicks said in 2019 that she’d been unaware of the hush money payment until it became public. But an FBI agent who’d been investigating Cohen said in an affidavit for Cohen’s federal criminal case that he believed Hicks was involved in the negotiations aimed at preventing Daniels from going public with her claim that she’d had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. Trump has denied sleeping with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford,” the network reported.

MSNBC excitedly reported on the breaking news, with NBC News’ Vaughn Hillyard laying out what role Hicks may play in the trial.

“Hope Hicks, she would, per federal court records that dated back to Michael Cohen when he pleaded guilty, he contended at the time that there is a phone call in which she latched not only Michael Cohen, but with Donald Trump together,” Hillyard said. “And so there’s questions about October 8, 2016, the day that Stormy Daniels came forward to the National Enquirer and said that she was ready to share her story, but could potentially all but be paid off. That there were conversations that Hope Hicks was allegedly a part of.”

“And then we also know she was on another phone call later that month, on the actual day that Michael Cohen agreed to pay that $130,000 to American Media,” he added. “So the question is, does Hope Hicks have testimony to provide about the extent to which Donald Trump was signing off, specifically on those payments?”

Legal analyst Lisa Rubin weighed in to suggest that Hicks’s relationship with Trump could be a factor in her testimony.

“If you look at the transcript of Hope Hicks’ transcribed interview with the January 6th committee, you see a person who at the end of her White House service did break somewhat with Donald Trump,” Rubin said. “She didn’t leave as acrimoniously as other people did.”

“She didn’t share his belief that the election had been stolen and that at the time was headline-making news, that Hope Hicks had essentially said to him, Mr. President, you and I don’t see this the same way,” she continued. “So it remains to be seen what Hope Hicks will be like in a courtroom if she testifies, what her demeanor is like with Donald Trump, the defendant, sitting right in front of her.”

Tom Tillison


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