WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors will attempt to indict President Donald Trump on campaign finance charges, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy now says.
In an opinion piece written for Fox News the conservative former prosecutor said federal prosecutors would not have gone after Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, had they not intended to slap the president with charges relating to “hush money” he allegedly paid to two women to keep quiet regarding affairs he had with them prior to becoming president.
“The major takeaway from the 40-page sentencing memorandum filed by federal prosecutors Friday for Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, is this: The president is very likely to be indicted on a charge of violating federal campaign finance laws,” McCarthy wrote. “It has been obvious for some time that President Trump is the principal subject of the investigation still being conducted by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.”
“Yes, Cohen has stated he did the hands-on work in orchestrating hush-money payments to two women who claim to have had sexual liaisons with Trump many years ago (liaisons Trump denies),” McCarthy continued. “But when Cohen pleaded guilty in August, prosecutors induced him to make an extraordinary statement in open court: the payments to the women were made “in coordination with and at the direction of” the candidate for federal office – Donald Trump.”
“Prosecutors would not have done this if the president was not on their radar screen. Indeed, if the president was not implicated, I suspect they would not have prosecuted Cohen for campaign finance violations at all,” McCarthy surmised.
Trump’s current lawyer, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who also once served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, denied Monday that the president is any current legal danger.
“You have to believe Cohen. Who believes Cohen?” Giuliani asked, pointing out Cohen’s prior conviction on lying to the FBI.
While McCarthy acknowledged Trump has a strong legal defense, he pointed out that prosecutors will utilize certain facts to justify charges.
“Trump’s point that he had no personal limit on spending is also undermined by the facts that (a) the payment was not reported,” McCarthy argued, “and (b) the purpose of the transaction was to distance him from the payment (which is why the non-disclosure agreement employs pseudonyms rather than referring to Trump and Clifford by name).”
Like Giuliani, McCarthy also once served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the same office currently investigating the president on alleged campaign finance violations.