Hush money payments made to a pornstar by former US President Donald Trump before the 2016 election will result in criminal charges against him.
No information about the charges against him has been made public.
After looking into his claimed $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, a grand jury has decided to charge him on multiple counts.
The 76-year-old Trump claims he is innocent. He’s the first US president, current or past, to be indicted on felony charges.
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s office, who has been leading the probe, verified that it had called Mr. Trump’s lawyer to “co-ordinate his surrender” on ambiguous charges.
Two sources informed CBS News, the US partner of the BBC, that the ex-president, who currently resides in Florida, will travel to New York on Monday and be arraigned in court on Tuesday.
At the meeting, which is expected to last no more than ten to fifteen minutes, the charges against him will be presented in full.
This judicial appearance will be guarded by the United States Secret Service, whose job it is to safeguard both the current and past leaders of the United States.
Why is Trump facing criminal charges?
A year after Donald Trump married his current wife, Melania, in 2006, adult film performer Stormy Daniels approached media sources offering to sell her account of what she claimed was an adulterous affair she had with the president.
In order to silence Ms. Daniels, Mr. Trump’s team gave his counsel, Michael Cohen, $130,000. There is no law against this.
However, the documentation of Mr. Trump’s reimbursement of his counsel indicates that the funds were used for legal expenses. According to the prosecution, this constitutes a misdemeanor (a type of criminal offense) in the state of New York called “falsifying business records.”
Because he didn’t want voters to know he was having an affair with Ms. Daniels, prosecutors could also claim he broke election law by trying to conceal his payments to her.
Falsifying documents in order to conceal criminal activity is a felony, the highest level of offense possible. Prosecution supporters concede, however, that the evidence is not conclusive.
There is little case law to draw from, and previous efforts to prosecute lawmakers for mixing campaign and personal funds have failed.
What will happen to Trump?
Like any criminal suspect, Mr. Trump will likely have his fingerprints collected and mugshot taken soon.
Trump released a statement in which he attacked the Manhattan district attorney. He said the prosecutor was “doing Joe Biden’s dirty work” and labeled him a “disgrace.”
“The Democrats have lied, cheated, and stolen in their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump,’ but now they’ve done the unthinkable – indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant Election Interference,” he said.
Trump has repeatedly slammed the investigation in his hometown of New York as a political “witch hunt” led by his opponents.
Mr. Bragg, who is a registered Democrat, has denied pursuing a political vendetta against Trump. “We evaluate cases in our jurisdiction based on the facts, the law, and the evidence,” he tweeted earlier this month.
The presidential election of 2024 may be affected by the criminal case. Among all declared and prospective candidates for the Republican nomination for president, Mr. Trump is presently in the lead.
However, a candidate who has been convicted of a felony is still free to run for president and take office, even if they do so from jail.
The indictment was referenced in a fundraising email sent out by his team on Thursday night.
Top Republicans in Congress are solidifying their support for Mr. Trump.
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