As a grand jury in New York chose to indict him on charges connected to hush money payments to an adult film star, Donald Trump will be the first former US president to face criminal prosecution.
The New York Times initially reported on Thursday that the grand jury had voted to prosecute Trump, citing 4 people with knowledge of the situation. The indictment was verified shortly after by Joe Tacopina, a Donald Trump lawyer, and other sources. The sealed criminal indictment will most likely be disclosed in the coming days. The particular accusations were not made public at this time.
Donald Trump Indicted
The accusation stems from a hush-money payment made on Trump’s behalf to adult film producer and actor Stormy Daniels in 2016, soon before the presidential election. Michael Cohen, Trump’s attorney at the time, coordinated the payment to purchase Daniels’ quiet about an alleged sexual experience with Trump in 2006.
Cohen, now a vocal Trump critic who testified before a grand jury in the Manhattan case, paid Daniels $130,000 in October 2016. When Trump was president, he paid Cohen $35,000 a month from his account. Cohen pled guilty to campaign financing charges linked to the hush money payment in 2018.
According to court records in Cohen’s federal lawsuit, the Trump Organization improperly represented payments as legal expenditures, claiming a non-existent legal retainer. Prosecutors in Manhattan effectively believe that Trump’s handling of the reimbursement violated state law.
Trump rejects any misconduct concerning any charge leveled against him, whether criminal or civil. He has frequently referred to the inquiries as political witch hunts. He denies having an affair with Daniels, but he has acknowledged paying Cohen, alleging extortion.