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Trump “Catch and Kill” Jiu-Jitsu

donald trump
To wit: Trump allegedly worked with American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, to catch and kill multiple accusations of extramarital affairs. Photo: Seth Wenig-Pool/Getty Images
Eriq Gardner
March 11, 2024

In just two weeks, Donald Trump is set to begin the first and most salacious of his upcoming criminal trials—facing down a New York jury over 34 felony charges regarding his hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels. The basic facts of that case are largely undisputed: In October 2016, just before the presidential election, Trump instructed Michael Cohen, his erstwhile lawyer, to arrange a $130,000 payment to buy Daniels’ silence about an alleged affair. 

More crucially, however, was the intent behind the payment. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg contends that it was to hide “damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election”—essentially escalating a dispute over falsified business records to a felony. (Cohen already served time in prison for his involvement.) Trump’s attorneys argue that it was simply to save face.