Trump Paid Three People To ‘Suppress Negative Information’ Before 2016 Election, Bragg Says

(Photo by Ed JONES / AFP) (Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)

Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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Former President Donald Trump allegedly paid three different people to “suppress negative information” before the 2016 election, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said Tuesday.

The first person allegedly paid off by Trump’s team as a part of the former president’s “catch and kill scheme” was porn star Stormy Daniels, to keep her from speaking about an alleged affair she had with the former president, Bragg said. The Trump team then allegedly made false business records to cover up the fact Daniels was paid $130,000 by Cohen to keep her from speaking about the affair — a number that exceeds the federal campaign contribution cap, he added.

The second person allegedly paid by Trump’s team was Playboy model Karen McDougal, who was allegedly given $150,000 by American Media Inc. (AMI) after she claimed she had a sexual relationship with Trump, Bragg alluded to in a press conference following Trump’s arraignment.

AMI also allegedly paid $30,000 to a former Trump Tower doorman “who claimed to have a story about a child Trump had out of wedlock,” a statement from Bragg read.

AMI “later concluded that the story was not true,” and the CEO wanted to “release the Doorman from the agreement,” but Trump’s lawyer told the CEO to not release him from the agreement until after the 2016 election, the statement of facts read.

Trump was charged Tuesday with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, becoming the first former or current president in American history to be criminally charged. (RELATED: Trump Pleads Not Guilty To 34 Charges, Indictment Unsealed)

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks during a press conference to discuss his indictment of former President Donald Trump, outside the Manhattan Federal Court in New York, April 4, 2023. – Trump was charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records stemming from three pre-election hush-money cases, prosecutors said. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

“Donald Trump, executives at the publishing company, American Media Incorporated Mr. Cohen and others agreed in 2015 to a catch and kill scheme. That is a scheme to buy and suppress negative information to help Mr. Trump’s chance of winning the election. As part of this scheme, Donald Trump and others made three payments to people who claim to have negative information about Mr. Trump. To make these payments, they set up shell companies and they may get more false statements, including for example, in AMI, American Media Incorporated’s business records,” Bragg said in the press conference.

“Under New York state law, it is a felony to falsify business records with intent to defraud and intent to conceal another crime. That is exactly what this case is about. Thirty-four false statements made to cover up other crimes,” he added.

Trump was in the Manhattan courthouse for approximately an hour before exiting and flying to Mar-a-Lago to make a speech Tuesday night.

He did not speak to the press during the arraignment, but his lawyers said he was “frustrated” and “upset,” but also “motivated” after hearing the charges.