Former U.S. president Donald Trump was indicted by a New York grand jury Thursday on charges related to hush money paid on his behalf to adult entertainer Stormy Daniels on the eve of his election in 2016. With the formal filing of the charges by New York district attorney Alvin Bragg, Trump became the first president – sitting or former – to be criminally indicted.
Copies of the indictments were not immediately available on Thursday afternoon, but Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina has previously said the former president would surrender to authorities at the Manhattan criminal courts building in accordance with the law.
In a statement posted to his Truth Social platform, Trump called the charge “political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history.”
“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,” Trump wrote. “Never before in our nation’s history has this been done. The Democrats have cheated countless times over the decades, including spying on my campaign, but weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent, who just so happens to be a President of the United States and by far the leading Republican candidate for President, has never happened before. Ever.”
On the day of the indictment, Trump was drawing the support of approximately 45.7 percent of GOP primary voters nationwide, according to the latest aggregate polling data from RealClearPolitics. That puts him roughly seventeen percentage points ahead of his top rival, Florida governor Ron DeSantis (28.9 percent).
The charges come more than six years after disbarred lawyer Michael D. Cohen – Trump’s longtime personal attorney – paid Daniels $130,000 as part of a private settlement prohibiting her from discussing her “intimate relationship” with the former president. Cohen acknowledged paying Daniels the money in 2018, claiming he neither sought nor received reimbursement from Trump, any of his businesses or his political campaign.
“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with (Daniels) and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Cohen told The New York Times in early 2018. “The payment to (Daniels) was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”
That wasn’t true, though – which Cohen admitted in December 2018 when he was sentenced to three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to eight criminal charges (five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate intending to influence an election).
The charges against Cohen were related to payouts to two of Trump’s alleged ex-lovers – Daniels and former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal. As part of his plea agreement, Cohen admitted paying Daniels “in coordination with and at the direction of (Trump)” – and doing so for the “principal purpose” of impacting the 2016 election.
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Daniels repeatedly denied having sexual relations with Trump – however prior to the settlement she gave an interview to InTouch magazine in 2011 which detailed the alleged affair.
According to the interview, Daniels claimed she first had sex with Trump at a Lake Tahoe, Nevada hotel suite in 2006 – four months after Trump’s wife, former first lady Melania Trump, gave birth to their son, Barron Trump. Subsequent encounters were alleged to have taken place at a hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
The affair continued “well into the year 2007,” according to Daniels, who sued Trump in 2018 seeking to invalidate the hush money deal.
Daniels did not testify before the grand jury, but her attorney – Clark Brewster – said she would if necessary.
“The indictment of Donald Trump is no cause for joy,” Brewster tweeted. “The hard work and conscientiousness of the grand jurors must be respected. Now let truth and justice prevail. No one is above the law.”
In addition to the Manhattan probe over the payout to Daniels, Trump is facing an investigation in Georgia over allegations related to the 2020 election as well as an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) inquiry into the January 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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Lock him up.
And so it begins….
The fat orange loser spends the rest of his sorry life going from one trial to the next.
The biggest loser in all of American Presidential history.
Nothing will happen to him. It is a chickensh-t charge for one thing. For another, he is in league with them. It is just a show, to distract the public and his supporters from other things they are doing to destroy our freedom.
Your fat orange boy is just following the lead of other great Republicans like Dennis Hastert in paying off the people they have sex with.
In Trump’s case, it is a pornstar, instead of young men, like your boy Hastert.
dims are prolific diddlers. we like are stools pushed in just ask me
I take showers with my grandaughter. My son hunter married his dead brothers wife, We like to keep it all in the family
The ramblings of the right-wingnuts are always hilariously lacking in self awareness.
Nothing will happen to him? My brother in Christ, this is history in the making. This will mar the thing DJT cares about most: his ego, his image, his legacy. I’m not even sure he can beat all the charges here.
Not only that, this is just one of many shoes to drop. There are other investigations that could very well snag him.
If the Republican party had done the right thing – blamed 2020 solely on him and throw him to the wolves – Republicans could have come out smelling like roses. Instead, they married this pig, and they are about to get carried into the muck with it.
There has never been a whinier bitch in the world than Donald Trump. It never ceases to amaze me that a large number of people perceive him as “strong.”
The Republicans don’t have the stones to get rid of this cancer. If they did, none of this would have to happen. He’s crooked, started with his grandfather running a brothel, and hopefully ends with him. Those of us who believe in America, and conservative principles want him gone. End grievance politics from the far right and far left. Time for the adults to come home and reunite the country. Maybe he can bunk with AM.
While Lindsey Graham is crying like a pussy on FOX LIES about how TFG needs money, what TFG really needs is LUBE! And lots if it! He’ll need lube every day he’s in in Rikers, and probably some mouthwash too. So don’t send money, send lube!
Republicans bitching about weaponization of the Justice Department. Who wrote that term for all of them to trot out? This has to be a joke. Donald Trump ran on weaponizing the Justice Department. He wanted the FBI to arrest his political opponent, Hillary Clinton during the election and then promised to prosecute her if he was elected. After he was President he had a hit list he wanted the FBI, Justice Department and IRS to go after and tried his best to get them to do so. The man is and has always been a pathological liar and a menace to society. This very case would have been a Federal Case if William Barr had not intervened and told the US Attorney to back off.
In truth, I wish this was not the first case against him, because I think it is by far the least of his crimes. I want Georgia to go forward with their election interference case which I think is a slam dunk case (maybe fear of that is what Lindsey was really crying about, he knows Trump would throw him under the bus). He should be prosecuted for a large number of Crimes because of January 6; and he clearly stole confidential documents, lied about having them, refused to return them, returned some of them and lied saying he had returned them all; and finally, was forced to return them; all while claiming all of that was an unconstitutional witch hunt. All I can say is who ever knew a witch hunt would turn up so many witches?
It was Trump’s DOJ that decided secretly trying to pay off a pornstar is a crime. Not the current DOJ ;-)
Does this sorry excuse for a human being ever stop whining??? This indictment (and those yet to arrive) will just add to his legacy of Worst President in the History of the Republic!! No former POTUS will even be a close second.
Ten years from now, the GQP will pass laws to prevent schools from mentioning Trump’s horrid presidency as it may offend right wing parents.
Garlands ahole still hurts from getting screwed over for scotus . lmao