The fact that Justice Department policy declares a sitting president off limits for indictment has given President Donald Trump reason to hope for a second term, according to The New York Times.
Sources close to Trump told the Times they believe “he will ultimately choose to seek a second term in part because of his legal exposure if he is not president.”
The revelation came as the Times reported on checks Trump wrote to his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, as reimbursement for hush money payments he made during the 2016 election to silence women claiming they had affairs with the president.
Last week during a public congressional hearing, Cohen provided copies of two of the checks to lawmakers. The Times published six of the 11 checks Cohen received.
Trump was passing checks to Cohen as he conducted official presidential business, the Times said, writing: “On the same day he reportedly pressured the F.B.I. director to drop an investigation into a former aide, the president’s trust issued a check to Mr. Cohen in furtherance of what federal prosecutors have called a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws at the direction of Mr. Trump.”
Robert F. Bauer, a law professor at New York University and former White House counsel for President Barack Obama, told the Times that the checks are further evidence of Trump’s involvement in the scheme.
“The $35,000 is an indication of the quality of that evidence,” he said. “And it both shows the extent of Trump’s leading role and now leaves little doubt that he faces criminal prosecution after he leaves office for the same offenses for which Cohen will serve time.”