A person familiar with the case, who was not authorized to discuss it publicly, said it was unclear whether prosecutors made a determination that they had sufficient evidence to bring a case against Trump or anyone other than his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty last year. But the Justice Department’s opinion that a president cannot be indicted factored into the decision to end the probe, the person said.
Federal prosecutors had repeatedly placed Trump at the center of the effort to silence pornographic actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal during the chaotic run-up to the 2016 election. Last year, they alleged in a court filing that Cohen had orchestrated illegal hush-money payments “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump. And it revealed in unsealed court records on Friday that Trump participated in phone calls about the payments to Daniels.