Hope Hicks Denies Knowing About Payment To Stormy Daniels After FBI Implicates Her

Unsealed search warrants for the president's former attorney Michael Cohen say Hicks had knowledge of the payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

President Donald Trump’s former aide Hope Hicks denied knowing about a payment to porn star Stormy Daniels that prevented the actress from talking about her alleged past affair with the president.

Hicks’ denial comes after FBI search warrants were unsealed in federal court Thursday regarding former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s involvement in the payment. The warrants also say that Hicks and the president were aware.

“Reports claiming that Ms. Hicks was involved in conversations about ‘hush money’ payments on October 8, 2016, or knew that payments were being discussed, are simply wrong,” Bob Trout, Hicks’ lawyer, said in a statement. “Ms. Hicks stands by her truthful testimony that she first became aware of this issue in early November 2016, as the result of press inquiries, and she will be responding formally to Chairman Nadler’s letter as requested.”

Cohen, who is serving a three-year prison sentence for violating campaign finance laws and lying to Congress, apparently discussed the payment to Daniels with Trump and Hicks, according to the FBI. From HuffPost’s Ryan Reilly:

A search warrant affidavit released Thursday says that Cohen, former Trump aide Hope Hicks and Trump were on a phone call on Oct. 8, 2016, that the feds believe “concerned the need to prevent” porn actress Stormy Daniels from going public with her allegations of a past affair with Trump. It suggests more evidence of Trump’s direct knowledge of the payoff.

An unnamed FBI special agent wrote in the affidavit that discussions about keeping Daniels from speaking out jump-started after the Oct. 7, 2016, publication of the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump bragged about his ability to “grab [women] by the pussy” and get away with it because he’s a star. The search warrant application indicates that Cohen “exchanged a series of calls, text messages, and emails” with Daniels’ then-attorney, as well as David Pecker and Dylan Howard of American Media Inc. (which publishes the National Enquirer), Trump and Hicks.

In June, Hicks met with House lawmakers investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, who asked the former aide what she may have known. Instead, White House attorneys objected more than 130 times on her behalf to questions including whether or not Hicks told special counsel Robert Mueller the truth about what she knew.

The House Judiciary Committee is now investigating whether Hicks lied to Congress, an unnamed official told The Washington Post. Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) demanded Thursday that Hicks appear again. Hicks’ lawyer said she would be responding to Nadler in a letter.

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