A Prosecutor Made A Key Allegation In Donald Trump's Hush-Money Case — Except It Doesn't Seem To Add Up

Zinger Key Points
  • Former President's alleged affair with model surfaces amidst hush-money trial.
  • Prosecution claims affair details bolster case for Trump's 2016 campaign cover-up charges.

A prosecutor’s allegation that former President Donald Trump had an affair with Karen McDougal during a sensitive period in his marriage is being disputed.

What Happened: According to Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass, Trump had an affair with former Playboy model Karen McDougal while his wife, Melania Trump, was pregnant. Steinglass made the claim during a hearing on April 15, just before jury selection began for Trump’s criminal hush-money trial.

As reported by Business Insider, Steinglass argued at the time that this detail would support the prosecution’s case that Trump silenced women to benefit his 2016 presidential campaign.

“The fact that this relationship occurred during the defendant’s wife’s pregnancy, and after the birth of their child, speaks directly to the extent to which the defendant believed the story would be damaging to his campaign,” Steinglass shared with the judge.

However, according to Carol Heller, a representative for McDougal, the prosecutor’s timeline was incorrect.

“We were just as surprised as you when Josh Steinglass stated that Melania was pregnant at the time,” Heller told Business Insider.

Also Read: Following Trump’s Guilty Verdict, Legal Experts Say He Could Face This Punishment Instead Of Prison Time

A second source with knowledge of the relationship confirmed that the affair began “soon after the birth” of Barron Trump, who was born in March 2006. McDougal’s affair with Trump reportedly started in June 2006 and lasted until April 2007.

Despite this timeline discrepancy, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office charged Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels to keep their affair a secret ahead of the 2016 election. The jury convicted Trump on all counts.

Why It Matters: The revelations come at a time when Trump is already facing significant legal challenges. Earlier this month, Trump discussed the possibility of house arrest or jail time following his conviction on multiple felony charges. He stated, “I’m OK with it. I'm not sure the public would stand for it. I think it would be tough for the public to take. At a certain point, there's a breaking point.”

This conviction makes Trump the first former U.S. president to be convicted as a felon. The charges mainly pertain to reimbursements made to his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, related to payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Additionally, in May, Trump’s legal team attempted to block the release of a biopic titled “The Apprentice,” which includes a controversial rape scene involving his ex-wife, Ivana Trump.

The film explores Trump’s early years as a real estate developer and his connection to attorney Roy Cohn. The cease-and-desist letter issued by Trump’s lawyers warned producers against pursuing a distribution deal for the film.

Now Read: Latest Poll Of Independents And Republicans Could Spell Trouble For Donald Trump Following His Historic Conviction

This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

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