Where the Trump investigations stand after Mueller
NEW YORK (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report outlined Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. But Mueller did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government, and he made no conclusion on the question of whether the president obstructed justice.
As lawmakers await a version of the report with fewer redactions, here’s a look at the other investigations surrounding Trump and inquiries that stemmed from Mueller’s Russia investigation. Trump has dismissed the investigations as politically motivated harassment.
Federal prosecutors in New York are still investigating the hush-money payments that led Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, to plead guilty last year to campaign-finance violations. There are mounting indications the probe is winding down, but a federal judge this year ordered portions of a search warrant to be kept secret until prosecutors tell him the investigation has concluded.
Cohen helped orchestrate six-figure payments to a porn actress, Stormy Daniels, and a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, to keep them quiet during the campaign about alleged affairs with Trump. Cohen has implicated Trump in the case, saying he ordered the payments and later reimbursed him for his efforts.
The U.S. Justice Department has held for decades that a sitting president cannot be indicted. If prosecutors find evidence Trump committed a crime, they could wait to charge him after he leaves office, though the legal deadline for filing charges is five years for the campaign-finance violations in question.
Trump says the payments to Daniels and McDougal were a private matter unrelated to his campaign.
Cohen is scheduled to begin serving a three-year prison sentence next month.
In all, Mueller’s team said it referred 14 cases to prosecutors in other jurisdictions, including the Cohen case, which was handled by the Southern District of New York.
A dozen of those investigations were blacked out of Mueller’s report because those inquiries remain ongoing. It’s not clear whether they will result in any charges.
Another case that was referred was that of Gregory Craig, the former Obama White House counsel charged recently with making a false statement in a foreign lobbying probe.
New York’s attorney general has opened a civil investigation into Cohen’s allegations that Trump exaggerated his wealth to obtain loans. Letitia James, a Democrat, issued subpoenas last month to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank seeking loan applications and other records related to Trump real estate projects and his failed 2014 bid to buy the Buffalo Bills.
James’ office is also overseeing a lawsuit alleging Trump turned his charitable foundation into a wing of his White House campaign. The Trump Foundation reached a deal in December to fold and distribute about $1.7 million in remaining funds, but the lawsuit is continuing as James seeks millions of dollars in restitution and an order banning Trump and his three eldest children from running any New York charities for 10 years.
At the same time, New York’s insurance regulator is investigating Cohen’s allegations that Trump also misled insurance companies about his financial worth and the state’s tax department has said it’s “vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation” into a New York Times story last October that reported Trump and his family cheated tax authorities for decades. New York City also said it would investigate.
Federal prosecutors in New York are also investigating Trump’s inaugural committee, which raised an unprecedented $107 million to celebrate his election.
The inquiry has focused partly on whether donors received “benefits” after making contributions or whether foreign nationals made illegal donations, according to a subpoena sent to the committee. The same document shows prosecutors are looking at whether the committee’s vendors were paid with unreported donations.
The White House has said Trump was not involved in the operations of his inaugural committee.
This version of the story has been corrected to show that Cohen was sentenced to 3 years in prison, not months.