Trump indicted by New York grand jury, and he’s due in court Tuesday
CNBC reported that a New York grand jury voted to indict Trump over a $130,000 hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels in connection to his 2016 campaign.
According to Joe Tacopina, Trump’s attorney, Trump will surrender to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office early next week. According to Susan Necheles (another Trump lawyer), Trump will be arraigned Tuesday. Two officials confirmed to NBC News that the former president will appear before Judge Juan Merchan in Manhattan at 2:15 p.m. This is subject to change.
Trump is the first ex-president to be indicted for a crime. This development will have a ripple effect across the country. He is currently the most prominent candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.
The Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg confirmed Thursday night the indictment.
“We contacted Mr. Trump’s lawyer to coordinate his surrender at the Manhattan D.A.’s Office to arraignment on a Supreme Court Indictment, which is still under seal. A spokesperson for Bragg’s office said that guidance will be given when the arraignment date has been selected.
The indictment did not reveal the number of Trump’s charges. It was unclear whether the indictment only covered Daniels’ conduct or the conduct surrounding the separate hush-money payment made by The National Enquirer to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model. Trump’s lawyers said Thursday night to CNBC that they did not know the charges.
According to media reports, Trump was shocked by the news of his indictment. According to media reports, Trump slammed the decision and called it “Political Persecution & Election Interference at The Highest Level in History.” He had posted on Wednesday that he had “gained such respect” for the grand jury.
The district attorney’s investigation into Trump Organization’s reimbursement of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former-lawyer, reveals that Cohen paid Daniels (also known as Stephanie Clifford) to keep her silent about an alleged sexual encounter she claims she had with Trump in 2006.
Trump was filming “Celebrity Apprentice” at the time. He was also married to Melania Trump, his current wife. Melania had just given birth to their son Barron a few months prior.
According to business records, the Trump Organization described Cohen’s reimbursement as a legal expense.
Falsifying business records under New York law is a misdemeanor. However, if it was done to cover up a crime, it can be made a felony.
Trump denied having sex or engaging in any wrongdoing with Daniels.
Trump stated in a statement that “This is Political Persecution, Election Interference at its highest level in History.” “Democrats have lied and cheated in their obsession to ‘Get Trump’, but now they’ve done something unthinkable — indicting an innocent person in an act blatantly Election Interference.”
Tacopina, Necheles stated that President Trump was indicted. He didn’t commit any crime.”
Defense lawyers stated that they would vigorously combat the political prosecution at Court.
Bragg’s office will prosecute the indictment. It is the first of several criminal cases against Trump.
The U.S. Department of Justice is currently investigating Trump in two criminal cases. The first is about his attempts to reverse President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. He falsely claimed widespread voter fraud that year. The second probe is about Trump’s detachment of government records and whether he obstructed justice in keeping them at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida for more than one year while government officials sought their return.
Separately, a state prosecutor in Atlanta is investigating Trump and his associates over their attempts to persuade Georgia officials to reverse the loss to Biden in 2020.
Cohen made the following statement to NBC News: “For first time in the history of our Country, a President (current and former) of United States has been indicted. I am not proud to issue this statement. However, I want to remind everyone about the presumption that they are innocent as per the due process clause.
Cohen stated, “However I do take solace that the law is not above anyone; not even former Presidents.” “Today’s arrest is not the end. It’s just the beginning. It is best for the case that the indictment speaks for itself now that the charges are filed. Two things I want to emphasize at this point are that accountability is important and I stand behind my testimony and the evidence” the Manhattan district lawyer, he stated.
Trump’s Manhattan trial comes four years after Cohen, who had served him faithfully for many years, turned against Trump and began to cooperate with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.
Cohen pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges in 2018. These included campaign finance violations for the Daniels payment as well as a separate payment he made to McDougal (the former Playboy model) to buy her silence over an affair that she claimed she had with Trump in 2006.
The Federal Election Commission fined The National Enquirer publisher $187,500 in 2021 for “knowingly and willingly” violating campaign law. McDougal was paid a $150,000 “catch-and-kill” fee to purchase her story and put it under lock and key ahead of the 2016 election.
Cohen claimed that the payments were made to protect Trump’s chances of winning the election in which he was facing Hillary Clinton. Trump was not punished by the FEC.
Cohen met with investigators from DA’s Office 20 times before he testified over two days last Thursday before the grand jury at Manhattan Criminal Court. The panel met in January, and heard testimony from many witnesses before Cohen.
Trump and a few Republican elected officials accused Bragg of pursuing the investigation in order to harm him politically.
Bragg’s recent focus on Daniels’ payment was surprising, since many considered it to be the weakest possible case against Trump. This probe began under Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance Jr., four years ago.
Two top prosecutors involved in the investigation were fired by Bragg after he indicated that he would suspend the probe.
That investigation was centered on Cohen’s claims that Trump and Trump Organization had reported different things at the time.