Oversight Chairman Cummings asks if DOJ guidelines kept Trump from being prosecuted

Oversight Chairman Cummings asks if DOJ guidelines kept Trump from being prosecuted

Oversight Chairman Cummings asks if DOJ guidelines kept Trump from being prosecuted

Federal prosecutors revealed in a court filing this week that they also had investigated whether anyone had given false statements during the inquiry or otherwise obstructed justice, but didn't reveal who those people were.

"The office of the president should not be used as a shield for criminal conduct", Cummings added. U.S. Justice Department policy prohibits the indictment of a sitting president.

The U.S. House Oversight Committee on Friday asked prosecutors to produce documents and evidence in the case, saying they wanted to get to the bottom of the decision to charge Cohen but no one else. Trump has denied the encounters and in 2018 told reporters he knew nothing about a payment to Daniels.

Before Oct. 8, Cohen had not spoken on the phone with Hicks for "at least" several weeks, the document said.

The documents detailed a "series of calls, text messages, and emails" between Cohen, Trump, Hicks, Daniels' attorney and then-National Enquirer chief David Pecker after the release of the "Access Hollywood" video in which Trump was heard bragging about assaulting women.

Prosecutors have said Pecker, a friend of Trump's, had offered to use his company to bury negative stories in a practice known as "catch and kill".

The next day, Howard connected Cohen and Davidson in a text message to begin the payoff negotiations, the document stated.

"Based on the timing of these calls, and the content of the text messages, I believe that at least some of these communications concerned the need to prevent Clifford from going public", the agent wrote.

She said that she denied the affair in a statement to the press in 2016 because "that was the response that was dictated to me".

Cohen is serving three years in prison after pleading guilty last year to breaking campaign finance laws through the hush-money scheme, as well as other financial crimes.

Prosecutors went as far as saying in court filings that Trump directed Cohen to make the payments, though they referred to him in court filings as "Individual 1", not by name. The payment to McDougal was funneled through Trump-friendly AMI.

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Federal prosecutors entered into a non-prosecution agreement with AMI in exchange for the cooperation of its top executives. But the Justice Department's opinion that a president can not be indicted factored into the decision to end the probe, the person said.

The chairman of the House judiciary panel, Jerrold Nadler, in a letter to Hicks released publicly on Thursday, demanded that she return to Capitol Hill before August 15 to explain the inconsistencies in her testimony.

Documents unsealed in the investigation into longtime former Trump fixer Michael Cohen Thursday showed that the FBI believed both Hicks and Trump were closely involved in the plan to pay Daniels to stay silent about her alleged affair with Donald Trump.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley ordered the materials unsealed this week after prosecutors said they had concluded their investigation into a scheme meant to protect Trump's reputation as he ran for president. The judge called the documents "a matter of national importance".

The statement by attorney Robert Trout came a day after newly unsealed court records showed that Hicks was in close communication with Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen in October 2016 as he was negotiating the payment to Daniels.

Cohen thanked Davidson, the documents show, and said, "I hope we're good".

The hush-money payment to McDougal remained secret until The Wall Street Journal published a story about it days before Election Day.

"Based on the timing of these calls, and the content of the text messages and emails, I believe that at least some of these communications concerned the need to prevent Clifford from going public, particularly in the wake of the Access Hollywood story", an FBI agent investigating the case wrote in the unsealed documents. Cohen responded, "He's pissed", an apparent reference to Trump, according to the documents. "Nothing contradicts what I've said".

Cohen and Hicks were relieved the Journal story did not receive the attention they feared it would.

"Same", Hicks texted back. "Getting little to no traction". "Keep praying! It's working!"

Cohen replied, "Even CNN not talking about it".

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