Manhattan grand jury accuses Donald Trump of hush money charges; he is first ex-President to be charged with a crime
Donald Trump was charged with using hush money by a Manhattan grand jury; he is the first ex-President to face criminal charges.
On March 31, prosecutors and defense lawyers announced that Donald Trump had been convicted by a Manhattan grand jury, making him the first former U.S. president to confront a criminal prosecution and jarring his bid to reclaim the White House next year.
The allegations revolve around payments made during the 2016 presidential contest to suppress statements about extramarital sexual encounters. This is a great advancement in the wake of numerous inquiries into Mr. Trump’s business, political, and personal dealings.
The accusation places a local district attorney’s office in the middle of a national presidential race, heralding the criminal trials in a city where the ex-President has lived for decades.
The charges, which come at a time of complex political factions, are likely to strengthen rather than remold opposing viewpoints of those who see responsibility as long overdue and those who, like Mr. Trump, believe the Republican is being aimed for political gain by a Democratic prosecuting attorney.
Mr. Trump, who has dismissed all allegations and has repeatedly slammed the investigation, called the accusation “political oppression” and postulated it would upset Democrats in 2024. Defense lawyers Susan Necheles and Joseph Tacopina said in a remark affirming the charges that Mr. Trump “did not commit any crime. We will aggressively defend ourselves in court against this political litigation.”
A senior official for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office affirmed the accusation and stated that prosecutors had contacted Mr. Trump’s defense team to prepare a surrender. According to a source familiar with the situation who was not allowed to speak in closed proceedings, the surrender is expected to occur next week. On Thursday evening, District Judge Alvin Bragg left his office without comment.
The case revolves around well-documented accusations from 2016 that Mr. Trump’s celebrity past clashed with his political aspirations. Prosecutors investigated payments made to porn actor Stormy Daniels and erstwhile Playboy model Karen McDougal, whom he worried would go open with allegations of extramarital sexual interactions with him.
Following media stories that felony proceedings were likely to be filed within weeks, the duration of the accusation emerged as unexpected to Mr. Trump’s campaign officials. On Thursday, the former President was at his Florida mansion, Mar-a-Lago, where he recorded an interview with a conservative panelist earlier in the day.
Mr. Trump, who is attempting to reclaim control of the Republican Party, actively campaigned on the inquiry on social networks and requested followers criticize his political grounds in the weeks leading up to the accusation, urging better security around the Manhattan criminal courtroom.
Although Mr. Trump’s legal team declined the invitation, a lawyer with close ties to the former president briefly testified to casting doubt on Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former fixer and attorney.
To prevent Ms. Daniels from speaking publicly about what she claims was a physical encounter with Mr. Trump ten years prior after they met at a celebrity tour event, Mr. Cohen paid her $130,000 late in the 2016 presidential campaign.