Donald Trump, a former US president, will face charges related to payments made to a porn performer right before the 2016 election.
He will be charged, but specifics have not yet been made public.
Following an investigation into a $130,000 payment made to Stormy Daniels in an effort to purchase her silence regarding an alleged affair, a grand jury decided to indict him on criminal charges. He contests his guilt.
The first sitting or former US president to be charged is Mr. Trump, 76.
The charge was verified by his attorney, Susan Necheles, in a statement late on Thursday.
He didn’t do anything wrong, she said. We’ll firmly defend ourselves in court against this political prosecution.
The former president, who resides in Florida, will likely come to New York City for his official arrest and initial court appearance.
Trump will give up, according to his defense team, the next week. Security for the court appearance will be handled by the US Secret Service, which is responsible for guarding current and previous US presidents.
As all defendants in criminal trials, Mr. Trump may have his fingerprints collected and have a mugshot taken.
Mr. Trump attacked the prosecutor in the case, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, in a statement. He denigrated the prosecutor and claimed that he was “doing Joe Biden’s dirty work.”
“In their quest to ‘Get Trump,’ the Democrats have lied, cheated, and stolen, but now they’ve done the unthinkable – indicting a wholly innocent individual in an act of obvious Election Interference,” he stated.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly denounced the New York inquiry as a political “witch hunt” conducted by his rivals. Mr. Bragg is a Democrat in good standing.
The investigation is the result of claims that less than two weeks before the 2016 presidential election, Mr. Trump gave his then-attorney Michael Cohen the order to pay Stormy Daniels, a former porn actress and stripper, in order to keep her from speaking out about an alleged affair with him.
According to Ms. Daniels, she had a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump in 2006 at a hotel in Lake Tahoe, the year following his marriage to Melania.
The $130,000 payment was reached, according to Cohen’s testimony in court, “in coordination with and at the direction of” the former president. Cohen was imprisoned from 2018 until 2020 for a variety of offenses.
Among all announced and probable candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, Mr. Trump is now in the lead.
Yet, American law does not forbid a candidate who has been found guilty of a felony from running for president and doing so, even while incarcerated.
A number of other incidents involving Mr. Trump are also being investigation.
Investigations into his involvement in the January 2021 incident at the US Capitol, his efforts to reverse his loss in the state of Georgia in the 2020 election, and his management of sensitive materials after leaving office are among the further inquiries.
Mr Trump – who served as president from 2017-21 – was twice impeached by the House of Representatives. He was acquitted by the Senate both times.
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