A Manhattan grand jury on Thursday indicted former President Donald J. Trump for paying hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016 during Trump’s presidential campaign. The payments were made by Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen. Cohen, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to a long list of federal charges, confessed to paying Daniels $130,000 out of a home equity line of credit. Cohen was reimbursed by Trump in monthly checks that totaled $420,000, some of which were signed by Trump himself, using his by-now-famous signature.
The exact charges are not yet known, but they are likely to include falsifying business records, which is a felony under New York law when done in the furtherance of another crime, such as a campaign finance violation. According to Cohen, he discussed the checks with Trump in the White House, which could involve a federal crime.
Trump’s attorneys issued a statement saying, “President Trump did not commit any crime. We will vigorously fight this political prosecution in court.”
The former president slammed Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, whom he said “was hand-picked and funded by George Soros.”
“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 said in a statement he released Thursday night.
“This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history,” Trump said. “From the time I came down the golden escalator at Trump Tower, and even before I was sworn in as your President of the United States, the Radical Left Democrats – the enemy of the hard-working men and women of this Country – have been engaged in a Witch-Hunt to destroy the Make America Great Again movement. You remember it just like I do: Russia, Russia, Russia; the Mueller Hoax; Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine; Impeachment Hoax 1; Impeachment Hoax 2; the illegal and unconstitutional Mar-a-Lago raid; and now this.”
“I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden. The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it. So our Movement and our Party – united and strong – will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat Joe Biden, and we are going to throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump’s statement concluded.
Trump’s attorneys have coordinated his surrender to authorities in Manhattan, probably on Tuesday. A mug shot of the former president will be taken and he will be fingerprinted in the New York State courthouse, following which he will then be arraigned, and the specific charges against him will be unsealed. These are expected to include more than two dozen counts.