BREAKING NEWS: BAD FOR TRUMP! BAD FOR BIDEN! BAD FOR THE COUNTRY! BAD FOR BRAGG! GRAND JURY VOTES TO INDICT TRUMP. TRUMP BECOMES FIRST EVER PRESIDENT TO BE CRIMINALLY INDICTED. TRUMP RESPONDS TO INDICTMENT
- Donald Trump has become the first former president to face criminal charges
- It marks the end of a years long investigation into hush money paid to Daniels
- It means Trump faces arrest and the prospect of humiliating court appearances
Trump has become the first ever former president to face criminal charges, which are expected in the coming days.
It marks the end of a years long investigation into hush money paid to adult movie star Stormy Daniels in 2016, allegedly to buy her silence about their affair.
The indictment means he is the first former president to be charged with a crime and it takes the country into uncharted legal and political territory, with a candidate for president now facing arrest and the prospect of humiliating court appearances.
It marks a victory for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, which has been probing a $130,000 hush money payment made by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, to Daniels, 44, during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The Trump camp was quick to blast the indictment on Thursday night, with Eric Trump telling DailyMail.com it is ‘the opportunistic targeting of a political opponent’.
Meanwhile it also emerged on Thursday New York prosecutors were looking to charge Trump over a $150,000 payment made to another former Playboy model.
Bragg’s team has questioned grand jury witnesses about cash given to Karen McDougal, who was Playboy magazine ‘Playmate of the Year’ in 1998.
Eric Trump told DailyMail.com: ‘This is the opportunistic targeting of a political opponent in a campaign year.
‘They are ruthlessly attacking my father because he dared challenge the political elite. This is Exhibit A to the decline of American Law.’
A source told DailyMail.com Trump played nine holes of golf at his West Palm Beach club this morning. His regular table in the grill room was reserved but he did not stay for lunch.
The former president has always denied having an affair with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
The allegations came to light when Trump was in office, triggering a federal investigation.
In 2017 Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal charges, including tax evasion, fraud and campaign finance violations, and he told a court in Manhattan that Trump had directed him to make the payments.
But the investigation disappeared from the headlines as other legal cases focused on Trump’s family business and his actions around the Jan. 6, 2001, riot hog the spotlight. But it never went away.
Although the Justice Department decided not to charge Trump and the Federal Election Commission was deadlocked over taking action over claims that the payment amounted to an undeclared campaign contribution, the Manhattan DA was still looking at the case.
And it took on fresh momentum early in 2023 when Cohen met with investigators from the Manhattan district attorney’s office and it emerged that a grand jury was hearing evidence.
Such hearings are conducted in secret. But one theory was that it was probing Trump for falsifying business records in connection with the payment, by allegedly misreporting a campaign donation as a legal fees.
That amounts to a misdemeanor. But that rises to a felony if it is done in conjunction with a second crime, such as a campaign finance violation.
Then in March Bragg’s office asked Trump to testify, in the clearest sign yet that he could be indicted.
The former president confirmed as much in a social media post at the weekend, calling on supporters to rise up in protest.
‘The far and away leading Republican candidate and former president of the United States of America will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,’ he posted on his Truth Social platform. ‘Protest, take our nation back!’
The final act was reportedly the repeat testimony of Trump lawyer Robert Costello on Monday.
He was asked to appear by the former president’s legal team because he may have evidence that contradicted Cohen’s account. Privately Trump’s allies are confident that the case has little substance.
Source: Daily Mail Online
Trump’s response to indictment
Former President Trump on Thursday afternoon issued a lengthy statement in response to his indictment in a case involving alleged hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.
The historic indictment is the first time a president has been charged in a criminal matter and comes as Trump is mounting his third bid for the White House.