Trump Hush Money Trial to Begin 6 Years After Common Cause Filed DOJ Complaint

Today, a New York judge rejected Donald Trump’s attempt to have criminal charges against him thrown out for hush money payments made to Stormy Daniels to keep their affair secret on the eve of the 2016 presidential election. The trial will begin six years after Common Cause filed complaints related to the payments with the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission. Jury selection is scheduled to begin on March 25.

In 2018, Common Cause filed complaints against Trump, his business, and his campaign for violating federal campaign finance law with hush money payments to Daniels. Common Cause’s complaints highlighted the level of secrecy that went into the payment to Daniels just weeks ahead of the 2016 presidential election. According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump’s then-attorney, Michael Cohen, created Essential Consultants LLC to dole out the money in exchange for Daniels’ silence. The LLC was created so the money wouldn’t be linked to Trump or his campaign. Cohen has since served jail time for his role in the payments.

Statement of Marilyn Carpinteyro, Common Cause Interim Co-President

No American is above the law, not even former presidents. It is critically important to note that these are not simply hush money payments to hide an extramarital affair. Trump tried to hide his affair at a critical juncture in the 2016 presidential race, just weeks before the election.

Donald Trump and his co-conspirators clearly appeared to have broken the law and his attorney at the time has already served time in federal prison for charges related to the $130,000 hush money payout. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is right to hold the former president to the same standard as every other American.


To learn more about Common Cause’s 2018 filings, click here.

To read the Department of Justice complaint, click here.

To read the Federal Election Commission complaint, click here.