it's working
July 18, 2019

New court documents unsealed on Thursday detail President Donald Trump's 2016 team's conversations as Michael Cohen was arranging hush money payments to silence women alleging they had affairs with Trump.

In the documents, an FBI agent says that Trump's former attorney in the days after the Access Hollywood tape was released "exchanged a series of calls, text messages, and emails" with Stormy Daniels' attorney Keith Davidson, the National Enquirer's David Pecker and David Howard, Trump, and then-campaign secretary Hope Hicks, per BuzzFeed News' Zoe Tillman.

"Based on the timing of these calls, and the content of the text messages and emails, I believe that at least some of these communications concerned the need to prevent [Stephanie] Clifford from going public, particularly in the wake of the Access Hollywood story," the FBI agent says.

One portion of the document also describes a conversation on Nov. 5, in which Cohen texted Hicks noticing that a Wall Street Journal article about the National Enquirer paying to silence Karen McDougal, who also claimed she had an affair with Trump, was "getting little to no traction," per CBS News' Steven Portnoy. Hicks responded, "Same. Keep praying!! It's working!" Hicks claimed in a comment for that story, "We have no knowledge of any of this." The documents also show that Cohen texted Howard that "he's pissed," per HuffPost, seemingly referring to Trump.

Hicks has denied knowing about Daniels' allegations until November 2016, a claim she made during congressional testimony, ABC News reports.

Cohen is currently serving a three-year sentence after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations as prosecutors say he made the hush money payments at the direction of Trump, and the documents show Trump and Cohen communicating numerous times as Cohen was arranging the payments, CNN reports. Trump has denied knowing anything about the payments. Brendan Morrow

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