In court documents released Thursday, federal prosecutors in Manhattan stated that the government was no longer actively exploring additional charges for campaign finance violations related to hush money paid to two women during Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
In a footnote, federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York wrote that they had finished their investigation into criminally liability of others involved in the payments, and whether any of those persons may have lied to investigators or tried to obstruct the investigation.
“The Government has effectively concluded its investigations of (1) who, besides Michael Cohen, was involved in and may be criminally liable for the two campaign finance violations to which Cohen pled guilty [redacted]; and (2) whether certain individuals, [redacted], made false statements, gave false testimony or otherwise obstructed justice in connection with this investigation [redacted],” the footnote read.
While the status report filing did not identify the persons at the center of the inquiry, the redactions kept in place appear to be obscuring the name of at least one person.
According to the New York Times, Thursday’s filing is the first time federal prosecutors publicly revealed that the government’s inquiry into the campaign finance allegations had expanded to include whether people associated with the Trump campaign had lied to investigators or attempted to obstruct the investigation.
The latest disclosures came after U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III ordered prosecutors to publicly release the material related to the campaign finance investigation.
Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal attorney who was convicted last year for campaign finance violations related to the payments, was the only person charged in the investigation. Cohen is currently serving a three-year sentence at the Otisville Federal Correctional Institution in New York.
Following Thursday’s document release, Cohen released a statement saying that prosecutors’ decision not to pursue additional charges in the matter should be of “great concern” to Americans.
“As I stated in my opening testimony, I and members of The Trump Organization were directed by Mr. Trump to handle the Stormy Daniels matter; including making the hush money payment,” he said. “The conclusion of the investigation exonerating The Trump Organization’s role should be of great concern to the American people and investigated by Congress and The Department of Justice.”
[image via pbs screengrab]