Donald Trump Jr. previously escaped indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller for his alleged role in a June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting with Kremlin-linked Russians peddling "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, as The Inquisitr previously reported. Per a new report from CNN, the president's oldest son has again evaded indictment by federal prosecutors for his role in an illegal "hush money" payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels, who said she had sexual relations with the elder Trump.
Trump Jr. signed checks to now-former Donald Trump lawyer and "fixer" Michael Cohen, reimbursing him for putting up the $130,000 payoff to Daniels, according to a Reuters report. Cohen is currently serving a three-year prison term for his role in the hush money scheme, which a court ruled broke campaign finance laws.
But though Donald Trump himself was named in court documents, under the alias "Individual 1," as directing Cohen to carry out the hush money payoff, neither he nor Trump Jr. appear likely to face indictment. That's because the United States Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) has now quietly shuttered its investigation into the payoff and other possible campaign finance violations allegedly committed by Trump Organization officials, according to the CNN report.
In fact, the report added that prosecutors requested interviews with several Trump Org officials after Cohen was sentenced to prison in January but never followed through by actually interviewing them.
The report also says that prosecutors have not had any contact with the Trump Organization since February. That was the same month that Trump's nominee for U.S. attorney general, William Barr, was confirmed and sworn in to the job, as National Public Radio reported. As attorney general, Barr has the authority to oversee all federal investigations.
Mueller knew as early as 2017 that Cohen was receiving checks from Trump as reimbursement for a $130,000 "hush money" payment made to Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election, according to a BuzzFeed report. But because the hush money scheme did not directly pertain to the Russia investigation, Mueller handed the investigation into apparent campaign finance law violation over to the SDNY.
But now, SDNY prosecutors appear "unlikely" to charge anyone, not even Trump Jr., who signed checks to Cohen. However, the investigation is not yet officially closed, CNN reported.
In an op-ed for Slate.com, University of California-Irvine law professor Richard Hasen called Mueller's stated reason for not indicting Trump Jr. over the Trump Tower meeting — that he could not determine the value of the "dirt" on Clinton offered by the Russians — "ridiculous."