Stormy Daniels to meet with prosecutors in Cohen probe
Porn actress Stormy Daniels, who has said she had an affair with President Donald Trump and was paid $130,000 as part of a confidentiality agreement days before the 2016 presidential election, will meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their investigation into the president's former longtime personal attorney, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Monday's interview with prosecutors from the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan is in preparation for a possible grand jury appearance as they work to assemble a case against Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, the person said.
If prosecutors bring a case to a grand jury, they could call witnesses to testify under oath and the grand jury would decide whether to bring criminal charges with a written indictment. Unlike a trial jury, a grand jury does not determine guilt or innocence and a federal grand jury hears evidence presented by federal prosecutors.
Daniels and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, have also turned over documents in response to a subpoena from federal prosecutors about the $130,000 that Daniels was paid, the person familiar with the matter said. They weren't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she had sex with Trump in 2006 when he was married. Trump has denied any sexual relationship with Daniels.
Daniels is suing to invalidate the confidentiality agreement that prevents her from discussing it. She argues the nondisclosure agreement should be invalidated because Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, signed it, but the president did not.
In April, FBI agents raided Cohen's home, office and hotel room as part of a probe into his business dealings and investigators were seeking records about the nondisclosure agreement that Daniels had signed, among other things.
Cohen had said he paid Daniels himself, through a limited liability company known as Essential Consultants, LLC, and that "neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly."
In May, Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's attorneys, said the president had repaid Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels, contradicting Trump's prior claims that he didn't know the source of the money.
Earlier this month, Trump said he hadn't spoken with Cohen — his longtime fixer and a key power player in the Trump Organization — in "a long time" and that Cohen is "not my lawyer anymore."