Litman:Trump’s candidacy complicates a potential criminal case against him, but it can’t protect him from further scrutiny.Law360 (July 30, 2016, 12:00 AM) | By Michael Rothfeld
A federal prosecutor on Tuesday said Trump’s campaign may have been aware of Russian hacking attempts that could impact the election, but the criminal inquiry has no impact on possible obstruction charges.
“This is the type of case where a judge is going to have to make a decision as to whether or not to make criminal conduct obstruction of justice,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis told Judge T.S. Ellis, who is overseeing the case in the Southern District of New York.
“This is a question for a jury to decide based on the evidence in the case,” he continued.
The case has become the latest flash point in a presidential campaign that has become mired in controversy. Trump’s allies have seized on revelations by a former opponent that Trump directed him to commit sexual assaults, while Democrats have alleged that the campaign colluded with the Russian government to interfere in the election.
Trump denies it and has called the allegations “the greatest hoax in the history of politics.”
A key dispute has been over potential obstruction of justice charges stemming from several meetings the campaign had with Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, whose guilty plea on Wednesday was seen as an effort to get him to cooperate with the government.
Cohen is accused of arranging hush-money payments to two women during the 2016 campaign that have been reported as part of a potential campaign finance violation in the Eastern District of New York, or as campaign finance violations in two other federal districts. The Southern District of New York, which handles the case, has declined to charge Cohen.
“There will be no obstructing justice,” Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said on Friday. “There will be no cover-ups.”
The prosecutor, however, said prosecutors in the case are pursuing potential obstruction charges against Trump that can’t