Kellyanne Conway, who managed the ultimate months of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 marketing campaign, met with prosecutors from the Manhattan district legal professional’s workplace on Wednesday, the newest signal that the workplace is ramping up its felony investigation into the previous president.
The prosecutors are scrutinizing Mr. Trump’s position in a hush cash cost to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, who has mentioned she had an affair with him. The $130,000 cost was made by Mr. Trump’s longtime fixer, Michael D. Cohen, within the closing days of the 2016 marketing campaign, and Mr. Trump finally reimbursed him.
Mr. Cohen has mentioned that Ms. Conway performed a small but notable position within the cost: she was the particular person Mr. Cohen alerted after making the cost, he wrote in his 2020 memoir.
“I referred to as Trump to substantiate that the transaction was accomplished, and the documentation all in place, however he didn’t take my name — clearly a really dangerous signal, in hindsight,” he wrote. As an alternative, he wrote, Ms. Conway “referred to as and mentioned she’d go alongside the excellent news.”
Ms. Conway, who was seen strolling into the district legal professional’s workplace shortly earlier than 2 p.m. on Wednesday, is the newest in a string of witnesses to fulfill with prosecutors within the final month or so. For the reason that district legal professional, Alvin L. Bragg, impaneled a grand jury in January to listen to proof about Mr. Trump’s position in paying the hush cash, at the least 5 witnesses have testified: Jeffrey McConney and Deborah Tarasoff, workers of Mr. Trump’s firm; David Pecker and Dylan Howard, two former leaders of The Nationwide Enquirer, which helped prepare the hush cash deal; and Keith Davidson, a former lawyer for Ms. Daniels.
The choice to query these central gamers within the hush cash saga earlier than the grand jury means that Mr. Bragg is nearing a call on whether or not to hunt an indictment of the previous president.
A spokeswoman for the workplace and a lawyer for Ms. Conway declined to remark. It’s unclear whether or not Ms. Conway appeared earlier than the grand jury or was solely interviewed by prosecutors.
Nonetheless, the investigation just isn’t full. Mr. Cohen has met with the prosecutors for a number of hours of questioning, although he has but to testify in entrance of the grand jury. Ms. Daniels herself has but to be interviewed, and Ms. Conway won’t be the final 2016 marketing campaign official to face questioning.
It’s one in all three potential felony circumstances looming over Mr. Trump, whilst he stays a front-runner within the 2024 presidential marketing campaign. Along with Mr. Bragg’s inquiry, Mr. Trump may face costs from a neighborhood prosecutor in Georgia investigating whether or not he interfered within the 2020 election. And on the federal degree, a particular counsel is scrutinizing Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the election — together with whether or not he dedicated any crimes in reference to the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol — in addition to his dealing with of labeled paperwork.
Mr. Trump has denied all wrongdoing and accused the investigators of finishing up a politically motivated witch hunt. He has additionally denied having an affair with Ms. Daniels.
In Manhattan, any case would seemingly middle on whether or not Mr. Trump was concerned with the falsification of enterprise information associated to the cost to Ms. Daniels. When Mr. Trump repaid Mr. Cohen for the $130,000 payout to Ms. Daniels, the Trump Group falsely recorded the reimbursements as authorized bills.
It may be against the law in New York to falsify enterprise information. However to make it a felony, Mr. Bragg’s prosecutors must present that Mr. Trump was concerned within the falsification of the information to assist commit or conceal a second crime — on this case, seemingly a violation of New York State election regulation, a authorized concept that has not been examined.
The case would depend on testimony from Mr. Cohen, who pleaded responsible to federal costs over the funds in 2018. Mr. Cohen is predicted to fulfill with prosecutors once more within the coming days.
If Mr. Trump have been finally convicted, he would face a most sentence of 4 years, although jail time wouldn’t be obligatory and a conviction is hardly assured. Mr. Trump’s legal professionals would seemingly search to undermine Mr. Cohen’s testimony, arguing that he’s a convicted felony and admitted liar who has an ax to grind in opposition to Mr. Trump.
Ms. Conway remained one in all Mr. Trump’s high aides when he ascended to the White Home, staying on till the summer season of 2020. She nonetheless speaks with Mr. Trump and is near his spouse, Melania. However Ms. Conway has been equivocal about his possibilities at regaining the White Home.
In January, she thought of his prospects in an Op-Ed, writing that the case in opposition to his candidacy rested partly on considerations that he “can’t outrun the mountain of authorized woes.”
Kate Christobek and Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.