Trump hush money trial stems from 'zombie case' brought back to life

May 25, 2024

In the federal case, Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and testified that Trump directed him to pay Daniels. Pomerantz wrote that since Trump was a candidate for federal office, Vance decided it was uncertain whether intent to conceal a federal crime could support state-level charges. Trump's lawyers have said the October 2016 hush money payment was meant to spare himself, his family and his business the embarrassment of public attention to Daniels' story, not to benefit his presidential campaign. 'BACK INTO THE GRAVE'Pomerantz wrote that he revived the hush money inquiry in early 2021 under a different theory: If Daniels had been extorting Trump, then the money could be criminal proceeds and efforts to conceal that it came from Trump could constitute money laundering. But many of his colleagues were skeptical that Daniels' request for hush money was extortion, and he later realized the money laundering statute would not apply.