Donald Trump indicted for hush money payment to porn star

A FORMER President of the United States (US) Donald Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury for his alleged involvement in a hush money payment and cover-up involving adult film star Stormy Daniels that dates to the 2016 presidential election.

It is the first time in American history that a current or former President has faced criminal charges.

Trump faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud, incitement of the January 6 attack on Congress, his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election result in Georgia and his retention of classified records.

The news is also set to shake the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, in which Trump leads most polls.

While the charges are not publicly known yet, the indictment has been filed under seal and will be announced in the coming days.

Daniels claimed she had an affair with Trump in 2006, and although Trump denied the affair, he admitted directing his one-time lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to pay the actress $130,000 for her silence.

Trump, in a statement released shortly after the news broke, claimed the indictment amounted to “political persecution”.

“I believe this witch hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden,” Trump said. “Our movement, and our party – united and strong – will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat Joe Biden.”

Within hours of the news of his indictment, Trump’s campaign sent out fundraising pleas to counter what it called “the darkest chapter in American history”.

It also accused the Democrats of weaponising the justice system to punish a political opponent.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a longtime Trump ally, called it a “shocking and dangerous day for the rule of law in America” and “one of the most irresponsible decisions in American history by any prosecutor”.

Celebrating the news of the indictment, Daniels tweeted: “Thank you to everyone for your support and love! I have so many messages coming in that I can’t respond … also don’t want to spill my champagne.”

Trump is expected to appear in court for his arraignment on Tuesday, Trump’s lawyer Susan Necheles said, and he would be able to enter a plea on the charges.

New York Police operatives have been told to report for duty on Friday and be prepared to deal with “unusual disorder”, according to a memo seen by NBC.

For any New York defendant, answering criminal charges means being fingerprinted and photographed, fielding basic questions such as name and birthdate.

A former President is not likely to be paraded in cuffs across a sidewalk or through a crowded courthouse, but he will be fingerprinted, photographed and processed for a felony arrest.






     

     

    Trump’s legal team is expected to vigorously fight the charges, and a timeline for a potential trial remains unclear.

    However, nothing in the US Constitution prevents someone from running for President while facing charges and even a conviction would not bar them from the nation’s highest office.

    The 14th Amendment does prohibit anyone who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from holding elected office.

    Trump is therefore, expected to continue with his 2024 White House campaign despite facing criminal charges.

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