Court records released Thursday show Donald Trump was aware of efforts to keep a porn star and a Playboy centerfold silent in the days leading up to the 2016 election. But despite Trump's knowledge of those efforts—and the involvement of several others in his orbit— federal prosecutors in New York decided not to file additional charges in their investigation of the illegal hush money payments made to silence both women who say they had sex with Trump before he was president, according to two people familiar with the matter. The people briefed on the decision weren't authorized to speak about it publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. The records offered new details about the role Trump played in his campaign's frenetic efforts effort to quash stories about the alleged affairs with porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.
The US Attorney's Office in Manhattan declined to comment. But prosecutors confirmed in a court filing made public Thursday that they investigated not only Trump attorney Michael Cohen but also whether other people "may be criminally liable" in the scandal, "made false statements, gave false testimony or otherwise obstructed justice." Trump initially insisted he was unaware of the hush money payments that Cohen orchestrated to Daniels and McDougal. Search warrants revealed Thursday cite phone records showing Trump spoke with Cohen at least five times between Oct. 8 and Oct. 28, as Trump's campaign sought to contain the stories. On Oct. 28, 2016, as Cohen was finalizing payments meant to secure the silence of Daniels, he spoke by phone with Trump for about five minutes, and later traded texts with Keith Davidson, a lawyer representing Daniels. According to the documents, Cohen thanked him and said, "I hope we're good." Davidson replied: "I assure you. We are very good." (Click for more.)