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Government and PoliticsManhattan grand jury indicts Trump in Stormy Daniels payment case

Manhattan grand jury indicts Trump in Stormy Daniels payment case


Former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury after investigating hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, multiple law enforcement sources have said.
Allegations stemming from an investigation by Manhattan Democratic District Attorney Alvin Bragg could change the course of the 2024 presidential race. Trump has previously said he will continue to campaign for the Republican nomination if he was charged with a crime.
The specific charges are not yet known and the indictment is expected to be released in the coming days, The New York Times reported. Donald Trump will have to travel to New York for fingerprinting and other procedures.
Bragg’s office and an attorney representing Trump have not yet responded to requests for comment.
Trump, 76, was seeking re-election in 2020 but was defeated by Democrat Joe Biden. Trump falsely claimed he lost to Biden due to large-scale fraud and called the investigation that led to his indictment a “political witch hunt”. Last year, Bragg’s office won a criminal case against Trump’s Trump Organization.
A grand jury convened by Bragg in January began hearing evidence of Trump’s role in winning Daniels days before the 2016 presidential election, which he ultimately won. Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, said she received the money in exchange for keeping quiet about a sexual relationship she had with Trump in 2006.
The former president’s attorney, Michael Cohen, said Trump sent silence payments to Daniels and another woman, former model Karen McDougal, who also alleged sexual contact with the former president. Trump denies having had affairs with the two women.
Federal prosecutors investigated the Daniels case in 2018, which resulted in a prison sentence for Cohen, but no charges were filed against Trump.
No former or current US President has ever been prosecuted in history. Trump also faces two criminal investigations by a special prosecutor appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland and one by a Georgia prosecutor.
In a February Reuters/Ipsos poll, Trump led the party with 43% Republican support, compared to 31% for his closest challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has yet to announce his decision to run in 2024. Joe Biden is expected to seek re-election from the Democratic Party.
On March 18, Trump posted on social media that he expected to be arrested on March 21 and called on his supporters to protest.
Some Republican leaders have accused Bragg of politically motivated persecution of Trump. Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy called it “an outrageous abuse of power by a radical district attorney” and announced a congressional investigation into whether federal funding was used to support the Bragg Inquiry and “undermining our democracy”. Bragg was asked by three House committee chairs to provide them with submissions, documents and testimony about the investigation.
Trump initially denied knowing anything about Daniels’ payment. He later admitted that he reimbursed Cohen for what was described as a “simple private transaction”.
In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance law for his role in arranging payments to Daniels and McDougal and was sentenced to three years in prison. He said Trump asked him to make the payments.
Cohen testified before the Manhattan grand jury investigating Trump on March 13. The grand jury also heard from David Pecker, former publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid. The publication bought the rights to McDougal’s story about his alleged relationship with Trump for $150,000, but never published it. This method is used by some media to hide incriminating information about a third party.
Daniels said she had sex with Trump at a Lake Tahoe hotel in 2006 – a year after he married his current wife, Melania, and more than a decade before the businessman-turned-politician not become president.
Trump’s statement
Donald Trump himself, in a statement on Thursday evening, called the allegations against him “political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history.” He said that since his announcement to run for president in 2016, “radical left-wing Democrats … have begun a witch hunt to destroy the Make America Great Again movement.””Democrats lied, cheated and stole in their obsession with trying to ‘catch Trump,’ but now they’ve done the unthinkable – they’ve charged a totally innocent person in gross interference in the election,” Trump said. .Trump said in a statement that he was confident “this ‘witch hunt’ will hit Joe Biden hard” and ultimately lead to the Republican candidate’s victory in the 2024 election.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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