Why Trump's hush money to Stormy is illegal

March 31, 2023

Ex-US president allegedly paid $130,000 to stop Stormy Daniels' silence from making their 2006 relationship public

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Former US president Donald Trump. — Reuters/File

The news of the indictment of former US president Donald Trump has raised several questions, ranging from the case itself to what the future holds for the controversial president who is expected to appear before the court soon regarding the payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniel.

However, one question that many people are most confused about is: what is wrong with paying hush money?

In 2016, Trump allegedly paid $130,000 to the porn star in order to buy her silence and stop her from making their 2006 relationship public, since the scandal was likely to dent his campaign.

However, the problem does not lie in the payment of money itself. According to BBC, “what has got Mr Trump into trouble is how that payment was recorded in his accounts. He is accused of falsifying his business records by saying the payment was for legal fees.”

The person to pay Daniels was Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen. The US president reimbursed his lawyer. However, the payment record pegs the payment as ‘legal fees’.

Prosecutors maintain this declaration is akin to “falsifying business records” — which is a “misdemeanour” in New York.

Misdemeanour is a criminal offence in the city.

Moreover, two more charges that can be levelled against Trump include the claim that the payment was motivated by a desire to keep the affair a secret from voters, according to BBC.

Additionally, falsifying records to cover up a crime is a felony —a more serious charge than a misdemeanour.

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