(CNN) – Federal investigators have reportedly gathered evidence of President Donald Trump’s alleged deep involvement in hush money payments – potentially violating campaign finance laws.
The Wall Street Journal reported he played a key role in the payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
According to the Journal, during the 2016 campaign Trump closely coordinated with David Pecker, the chairman of American Media, to silence McDougal’s claims that she had an affair with him.
The newspaper also reported that federal prosecutors had enough evidence to outline Trump’s role, without naming him, in an 80-page draft indictment of Michael Cohen, the president’s former attorney.
Cohen paid $130,000 to Daniels to buy her silence on a sexual encounter she claims she had with Trump; Cohen said he made the payment at Trump’s request.
Trump reportedly asked Pecker to kill a story involving McDougal, who claims she had a long-running affair with Trump.
“Trump was involved in, or briefed on, nearly every step of the agreements,” according to the Journal. “He directed deals in phone calls and meetings with his self-described fixer, Michael Cohen, and others.”
Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts in August, including two counts of campaign finance violation.
He told the court that it was at Trump’s direction that he facilitated the secret payments.
Prosecutors said Cohen “coordinated with one or more members of the campaign.”
And there’s a secret recording obtained by CNN in July, revealing Cohen and Trump discussing a payment to McDougal.
CNN has reported that Trump was also personally involved in silencing Daniels.
The new details of Trump’s intimate involvement clashes with previous denials from the president and the White House.