It looks like ex-lawyer Michael Cohen wasn't the only line of defense in President Trump's alleged hush money payment scheme.
Manhattan prosecutors have already charged Cohen after investigating payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, and Cohen has pleaded guilty to those crimes. But in the still-ongoing case, New York investigators also interviewed former aide Hope Hicks and others deeper in Trump's "inner circle" than previously disclosed, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Cohen has long cooperated with the Southern District of New York in this case, revealing he paid $130,000 to Daniels to suppress her account of an affair with Trump. The National Enquirer has also said it bought former Playboy model McDougal's story of an affair for $150,000 to preserve Trump's reputation, and previous reports indicated National Enquirer publisher David Pecker was talking to prosecutors about the payment.
Documents from the case obtained by the Journal show prosecutors talked with Hicks as well, asking if she "had coordinated with anyone" at Pecker's company to suppress the McDougal story. They reportedly found that she talked directly to Pecker after a Journal report threatened to expose the hush money payment to McDougal. Hicks also knew Pecker was "issuing a statement saying it had paid McDougal to contribute articles," the Journal writes.
Investigators also questioned Trump's former security chief, Keith Schiller, finding that he too talked to Pecker. But the Journal could not conclude if Schiller actually handed the phone to Trump during those conversations. When asked Wednesday if he knew prosecutors talked to Schiller, Trump said he has "no idea."
Read more at The Wall Street Journal.