That leaves Mr. Trump in an increasingly isolated and legally precarious position, according to election law experts. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments made in 2016 to keep two women silent about alleged affairs are now firmly framed as illegal campaign contributions.
The news about the publisher, the parent company of The National Enquirer, came on the same day that Mr. Trump’s former lawyer Michael D. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in part for his involvement in the payments. “I blame myself for the conduct which has brought me here today,” Mr. Cohen said, “and it was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man” — a reference to Mr. Trump — “that led me to choose a path of darkness over light.”
Mr. Cohen said the transactions were an effort to cover up the president’s “dirty deeds,” a claim that was buttressed when federal prosecutors announced that the tabloid publisher, American Media Inc., said it had bought one of the women’s stories to ensure she “did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate.”
The cascading disclosures marked a turning point in the multiple investigations related to Mr. Trump and the campaign he led. Until recently, the inquiries had produced numerous guilty pleas and indictments but no direct accusations of illegality by the president. That changed with Mr. Cohen’s assertions, outlined in detail by prosecutors, that his own crimes were done “in coordination with and at the direction” of Mr. Trump.
Where the investigations go from here is not clear. The prevailing view at the Justice Department is that a sitting president cannot be indicted, though prosecutors in Manhattan could consider charging him after leaving office.
Investigators have continued to scrutinize what others in the Trump Organization may have known about the crimes described by Mr. Cohen, including its chief financial officer, according to people briefed on the matter. Prosecutors have met with campaign officials and asked how the campaign interacted with Mr. Trump’s company, which shared office space and employees.
Establishing a nexus between Mr. Cohen’s efforts to silence the women and Mr. Trump’s campaign is central to making a criminal case of election law violations. That is why A.M.I.’s admission carries so much weight, said Richard L. Hasen, an election law professor at the University of California, Irvine.
Conspiracy to steal an election with foreign intervention
- There was NO Hillary Clinton Email Scandal, it was a media-driven story!
- Every email has 2 sides (there are NOT 30K missing emails) the FBI reported they were able to find even the delete emails.
- No, it was not an open server, AOL or Google, it was a privately owned BLACKBERRY 256k-encrypted email server.
- To try and explain what that means is so difficult the IT guy said he took the 5th rather than try and explain why as a server like this is secure one of the most secure mail server systems.
- Trump’s PEOPLE ARE USING GOOGLE Mail (AKA Gmail)!
@realdonaltrump is a corrupt Russian agent obstructing justice in plain sight