Trump in Trouble

Donald Trump is the first former president to be indicted.

Donald Trump is the first former president to be indicted.

March 30th of this year former president Donald Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury led by Alvin Bragg  because of a scandal he allegedly played a role in.

This scandal is related to Donald Trump’s payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford), which has been a source of controversy since it was first revealed in 2018. The controversy began when the Wall Street Journal published a story in January 2018, revealing that Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, had arranged a $130,000 payment to Daniels as part of a non-disclosure agreement. The payment was made in October 2016, just weeks before the presidential election, and was aimed at preventing Daniels from going public with her story about an alleged affair with Trump in 2006, which he has denied happened. 

The payment itself was controversial because it was made using a “shell” company set up by Cohen, and there were questions about whether it violated campaign finance laws. Cohen initially denied that Trump had any knowledge of the payment, but later admitted that Trump had reimbursed him for the payment.

In August 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations related to the payment to Daniels, as well as to other charges related to tax and bank fraud. He later testified before Congress that Trump had directed him to make the payment to Daniels, and that Trump had been aware of and involved in the hush money agreement. 

While Trump himself was not charged in relation to the payment to Daniels, legal experts have argued that he could still face charges as he is out of office. In addition to the campaign finance violations, there are also questions about whether the payment constituted an illegal in-kind contribution to Trump’s campaign upcoming and the integrity of the 2016 presidential campaign. 

The payment to Daniels has also raised broader questions about Trump’s character and judgment. Critics argue that his willingness to pay hush money to an adult film actress is evidence of his lack of respect for women and his willingness to engage in unethical and potentially illegal behavior. Where pro-Trump supporters argue that the charges against him are politically motivated, and that the media are unfairly targeting him. 

Trump himself referred to his indictment as “an attack on our country” and “political persecution,” reported ABC News.

At his arraignment (reading of the charges he is indicted) on April 4th, Trump pleaded not guilty to the 34 felony charges of falsifying business records from the state of New York, and is planning to have his trial pushed until after the 2024 presidential election. His next in-person hearing date is scheduled for December 4th in New York as of now.