Dylan Howard identified as key witness in Donald Trump indictment case
An Australian journalist has been revealed as a key witness in the case that led to the indictment of former US President Donald Trump.
Dylan Howard gave classified evidence earlier this year before a grand jury in Manhattan indicted Trump last Thursday.
Trump is the first former president to face charges that he falsified business records related to hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 US election.
He pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts in Manhattan criminal court on Tuesday.
Mr. Howard was allegedly involved in several cases related to Trump between 2013 and 2019 while working at the National Inquirer.
Dylan Howard gave classified evidence earlier this year before a grand jury in Manhattan indicted Trump on March 30
Trump is the first former president to be indicted over allegations he paid hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 US election
He is a former Channel Seven reporter who was dumped by the network in 2008 after airing a story based on the confidential medical records of two AFL players.
He was the subject of a 2012 investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct at American Media Inc, the company that formerly owned the National Inquirer.
Howard was also named as one of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s “army of spies,” a group of journalists who worked to uncover information about people who accused Weinstein of sexual assault.
Mr. Howard’s attorney, John B Harris, confirmed that his client had testified before the grand jury in the Trump case.
“Mr. Howard has always cooperated fully with government investigations into his former employer’s relationship with Donald Trump,” he said.
He did so again earlier this year before the New York grand jury.
“Mr. Howard was and is only a witness in these investigations and has not been charged with wrongdoing by any authority.”
Mr Howard’s former company, American Media Inc, was accused of being part of a ‘catch and kill’ plan for Trump, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg claimed the organization worked “to identify and suppress negative narratives about Trump” leading up to the 2016 election.
He filed a statement of fact with the New York Supreme Court that does not specifically name Mr. Howard, but refers to him through his former role as editor-in-chief.
Mr. Bragg alleges in the statement of facts that in June 2016, the editor-in-chief contacted one of Trump’s attorneys, “Lawyer A.”
“Attorney A” has been identified as Michael Cohen, Trump’s attorney between 2006 and 2018.
The document claims that the couple had spoken about a woman, ‘Woman 1’, ‘who claimed she had a sexual relationship with the suspect while he was married’.
‘Woman 1’ has been identified as Karen McDougal, a former model for Playboy.
“AMI’s editor-in-chief has kept Advocate A regularly updated on the case via text and telephone,” Mr Bragg claims in the statement.
“AMI eventually paid Woman 1 $150,000 in exchange for her consent not to speak out about the alleged sexual relationship, as well as two Woman 1 magazine covers and a series of articles to be published under her byline.”
Bragg claims that Howard also linked one of Trump’s lawyers to a legal representative of porn star Stormy Daniels
Bragg claims that Howard also linked one of Trump’s lawyers to a legal representative of porn star Stormy Daniels.
Mr. Bragg alleges that Mr. Howard contacted American Media Inc CEO David Pecker about Daniels in October 2016.
It came shortly after the release of a 2005 video in which Trump made lewd comments about women while talking to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush.
Trump later apologized and dismissed the comments as “locker room chatter.”
Mr Bragg claimed that Mr Howard Cohen then ‘connected’ with lawyers for Daniel.
Mr. Howard has a long and checkered history in the media.
He was dropped by Channel Seven after reporting on two AFL players based on their medical records.
Police launched an investigation into claims the files had been stolen, but released Mr Howard, saying he would face no charges.
He later became chief content officer and editor-in-chief of the National Inquirer before becoming CEO and chairman of New York-based Empire Media Group in 2020.