Testimony From Cohen Could Create New Legal Issues for Trump – The New York Times

The experts cautioned that nothing Mr. Cohen said in his prepared remarks dramatically altered what is known about any legal case against the president. The relevant laws are complex and the president’s lawyers have repeatedly argued that he did not violate them. And perhaps most important, they note, there is a Justice Department policy that asserts that a president may not be indicted while in office.

Still, Mr. Cohen’s testimony surfaced some new information that could be relevant to Robert S. Mueller, the special counsel, or other prosecutors investigating cases touching on the president. Here are some examples:

In his prepared remarks, Mr. Cohen described in detail how Mr. Trump personally reimbursed Mr. Cohen for the $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, to ensure her silence about an affair with Mr. Trump.

“In February 2017, one month into his presidency, I’m visiting President Trump in the Oval Office for the first time,” Mr. Cohen said. “It’s truly awe-inspiring, he’s showing me around and pointing to different paintings, and he says to me something to the effect of ‘Don’t worry, Michael, your January and February reimbursement checks are coming. They were FedExed from New York and it takes a while for that to get through the White House system.’”

Richard L. Hasen, an election law professor at the University of California at Irvine School of Law, said prosecutors could use Mr. Cohen’s description of the payments from Mr. Trump to bolster a charge of campaign finance violations.


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