Feds nearly charged Trump in Stormy Daniels hush money case as he left White House, new book says
Published in Political News
Federal prosecutors reportedly almost charged former President Donald Trump with campaign finance violations in connection with the hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels as he left the White House, according to an upcoming book.
The feds declined to indict Trump because of the certain political blowback and also because the Jan. 6 attack and his effort to overturn the 2020 election “made the campaign finance violations seem somehow trivial and outdated,” CNN legal analyst Elie Honig revealed Friday.
“We were well aware of the (prudent) reasons why you wouldn’t charge a president, even after he was out of office,” a source told Honig for his forthcoming book “Untouchable: How Powerful People Get Away with It.”
With the feds dropping the case, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is actively considering filing state charges against Trump, who allegedly directed ex-fixer Michael Cohen to pay off Daniels to keep quiet about a sexual tryst she says she had with Trump in 2006.
Cohen last week submitted to a new round of questioning by Manhattan prosecutors in a sign that Bragg may eventually move to charge Trump.
Once a loyal lieutenant, Cohen broke with Trump, pleaded guilty in 2018 and served federal prison time for his role in the hush money scheme.
He has said he paid Daniels and former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal at the expressed direction of Trump, who wanted to keep the porn star quiet in the final days before the 2016 presidential election.
Southern District of New York prosecutors never considered charging Trump at the time of Cohen’s trial because they felt they were bound by a Justice Department legal opinion that bars charging a sitting president.
They did mull revealing Trump’s role in the scheme after Cohen was charged and even drafted a detailed indictment that would have fingered Trump by name.
“The SDNY’s draft indictment left no doubt: Trump wasn’t merely a bystander or an unwitting beneficiary of the campaign finance crime,” Honig wrote. “He was the driving force behind the scheme, and likely criminally liable for it.”
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