According to his attorney, a New York grand jury decided on Thursday to indict former President Donald Trump over a $130,000 payment of hush money made to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.
Trump is the first ex-president to face criminal charges. When he is running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, the indictment was announced.
The accusation is a result of the Manhattan District Attorney’s inquiry into the Trump Organization’s accounting of reimbursement to Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen after Cohen paid Daniels to be silent about an alleged sexual encounter she claims she had with Trump in 2006.
Trump was married to his present wife, Melania Trump, who had given birth to their son, Barron, a few months earlier, and was filming an episode of his TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice,” at the time of the alleged tryst.
According to company papers, the Trump Organization classified Cohen’s reimbursement as a legal expense.
In New York law, falsifying company records is typically a misdemeanor, but it can be upgraded to a felony if it was done to hide another crime.
Trump denies having sexual relations with Daniels and any other crime.
“This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history,” Trump said in a statement. “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.”
President Trump has been indicted. He did not commit any crime. We will vigorously fight this political prosecution in Court,” Joseph Tacopina, Trump’s criminal defense lawyer, and his other lawyer Susan Nechele, said.
Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, is the subject of the first of potentially many criminal prosecutions, which will be prosecuted by the office of district attorney Alvin Bragg.
Cohen, who spent 13 1/2 months in jail and a year-and-a-half in home confinement for delivering the hush money payment to Daniels stated that“For the first time in our Country’s history, a President (current or former) of the United States has been indicted. I take no pride in issuing this statement and wish to also remind everyone of the presumption of innocence; as provided by the due process clause.”
“However, I do take solace in validating the adage that no one is above the law; not even a former President,” Cohen said. “Today’s indictment is not the end of this chapter; but rather, just the beginning. Now that the charges have been filed, it is better for the case to let the indictment speak for itself. The two things I wish to say at this time is that accountability matters and I stand by my testimony and the evidence I have provided to” the Manhattan district attorney, he said.