A Manhattan grand jury on Thursday indicted former Pres. Donald Trump for allegedly falsifying business records to cover up an alleged “hush money payment” to porn actress Stormy Daniels, the first time in US history that a former president — or a presidential candidate, for that matter—has been criminally indicated.
New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office filed the indictment under seal and is likely to be announced in the coming days, according to the New York Times, which cited four people with knowledge.
Daniels says she had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago, which Trump has denied. Though Daniels has not testified before the grand jury, she’s said publicly that just days before the 2016 election, she received $130,000 to keep quiet about the affair.
“Hush” payments and non-disclosure agreements are not illegal. The charges stem from the way Daniels was paid by former Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen, who was in turn reimbursed by Trump organization executives; Prosecutors say the reimbursement was improperly characterized as “legal expenses.”
Falsifying business records is a misdemeanor in New York, and would likely result in a fine at worst. But prosecutors may also be considering an additional charge of first-degree falsifying business records “with the intent to commit another crime,” or conceal one. That charge represents a violation of campaign finance laws, a felony that carries a minimum one-year sentence – but also requires proof that Trump intended to commit a crime, and Trump has steadfastly denied knowledge of the payment or reimbursement.
Over the weekend Trump told his supporters on his site Truth Social media site that his arrest is imminent.
He wrote: “THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!”
More to eat…