- Kellyanne Conway and Hope Hicks have met with prosecutors to investigate a 2016 hush money payment to Trump.
- Both could directly link Trump to the payment, federal prosecutors have said in the past.
- The $130,000 secured adult actress Stormy Daniels’ silence over an alleged affair with Trump.
Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway — two of Donald Trump’s most trusted advisors in his unlikely 2016 rise to the presidency — could now influence his 2024 campaign by directly linking him to a hush-money scheme from their earliest days together.
According to published reports, both women have met with prosecutors for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg over the past week in his escalating investigation into felony fraud and other potential wrongdoings related to the $130,000 payment.
Both Hicks and Conway directly link Trump to the money-for-silence program, federal prosecutors said in court filings from the 2019 indictment of Michael Cohen, the former president’s fixer-turned-nemesis who admittedly brokered the payment and who also meets regularly with prosecutors.
Hicks, Trump’s press secretary for the 2016 campaign and later his White House communications director, was seen Monday afternoon arriving at a Lower Manhattan office building used for the prosecutor’s investigation, the Associated Press reported. She left about four hours later.
Conway, Trump’s campaign manager-turned-senior adviser, also met with prosecutors on Wednesday, the New York Times reported.
It’s unclear if Hicks and Conway were merely being questioned by prosecutors or appeared before an ongoing grand jury, and either way, it’s unknown if they’re helping with the investigation. The public prosecutor’s office declined to comment on the investigation.
The $130,000 was transferred to Daniels by Cohen through her attorney on Oct. 27, 2016, on Trump’s orders, Cohen said three years later in explosive televised testimony before Congress against the then-incumbent president.
“He asked me to pay off an adult movie star he was having an affair with,” Cohen told the committee, “and to lie to his wife about what I did.”
Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels.
Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for the payments. and a host of other authorized crimes, including tax evasion and lying to Congress about Trump’s involvement in a plan to build a tower in Moscow, also on behalf of the then-president.
Cohen was the only person charged with these crimes. But both Hicks and Conway were involved in documents from the period, being aware of the payments to Daniels.
Hicks had a series of calls including Trump, Cohen and two top National Enquirer executives on Oct. 8, 2016, the day after Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape was released, prosecutors have claimed.
At 7:20 p.m. that day, Hicks participated in a four-minute three-way conference call with Trump and Cohen as they allegedly discussed maintaining Clifford’s silence, the FBI alleged on pages 41 and 42 of a 269-page search warrant.
About ten minutes after that call, Cohen called David Pecker, then editor of the National Enquirer and a personal friend of Trump. Three minutes after that call, Cohen received a call from Dylan Howard, the former editor-in-chief of the Enquirer.
About eight minutes after that call ended, Cohen called Hicks again, and they spoke for two minutes. Around 9 p.m. that evening, Cohen received a text message from Howard saying that Clifford’s attorney had agreed to the hush money deal.
“So far I only see 6 stories. I’m getting little to no traction,” Cohen later wrote of Trump’s alleged dalliance, federal records said. “Same. Keep praying!! It works!” Hicks replied.
As for Conway, Cohen detailed her connection to hush money payments in his 2020 memoir, Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump.
When Cohen went to tell Trump that Daniels had been paid off, it was Conway who broke the news, he wrote.
She “called and said she would break the good news,” Cohen wrote.
Trump and Conway’s attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment. An attorney for Hicks, Robert P. Trout, declined to comment.