Is this really happening?
According to an anonymous source familiar with the matter, former President Donald Trump has been indicted on criminal charges in New York for his involvement in hush money payments made to an adult film star during his 2016 campaign. This marks the first time in history that a president has faced criminal charges. The details of the indictment remain unclear as it is still under seal.
The indictment follows an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) into a $130,000 payment made by fixer Michael Cohen to adult film star Stormy Daniels just prior to the election. Trump’s company had labeled Cohen’s reimbursement of the payment as a legal expense and did not report it in campaign expense filings. Cohen, who pleaded guilty in 2018 and served time for his role in the matter, claimed that Trump directed him to make the payment and that he was reimbursed in monthly installments, including a bonus.
The payment was made as part of a nondisclosure agreement as Daniels was prepared to go public with claims she had a sexual relationship with Trump – an affair he denies. Trump has consistently dismissed the investigation as a witch hunt and called on supporters to protest his potential arrest. His attorneys and campaign have not yet responded to requests for comment.
This indictment could be the first of several against Trump, as there are ongoing investigations into his conduct by several law enforcement entities. Trump has also sought to quash an investigation by Georgia authorities over his alleged efforts to influence the 2020 election there, and Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel to review Trump’s role in the broader investigation into the January 6th Capitol riots and the mishandling of government records at Mar-a-Lago.