Corporate records reveal that President Trump’s lawyer established and used a private Delaware company to make a $130,000 payment to an adult film star in exchange for her silence on an alleged sexual encounter with Trump.
Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen created Essential Consultants LLC in October 2016 — just weeks ahead of the 2016 election, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Cohen then sent a payment to the client-trust account of the lawyer representing the woman, Stephanie Clifford, by using a bank account connected to the Delaware company.
Choosing to establish the company in Delaware allowed Cohen increased privacy, and those involved with the agreement were given pseudonyms to further conceal their identities.
Clifford was reportedly referred to as “Peggy Peterson” in the agreement.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Clifford privately told people about a sexual encounter she had with Trump after meeting him at Lake Tahoe in July 2006.
Trump refuted all allegations of sexual misconduct that he encountered during the presidential campaign. The alleged sexual encounter with Clifford was not portrayed as nonconsensual.
“President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels,” Cohen said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal last week.
Cohen also provided a statement to the Wall Street Journal signed by Clifford’s stage name, “Stormy Daniels,” that rejected the notion she was involved in a “sexual and/or romantic affair” with Trump.
“Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are completely false,” the statement read.
The White House also denied the sexual encounter occurred and refused to comment on any agreement.
“These are old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election,” a White House official told the Wall Street Journal.