Former President Faces Criminal Charges


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

Former President Donald J. Trump has been charged with 34 felony counts, including business fraud, in an indictment on March 30, making him the first former U.S. President to be charged with a crime.

A New York Grand Jury indicted Trump led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. As reported by CNN, the charges included a “hush money scheme and cover-up” involving adult film star Stormy Daniels. The investigation started in 2016 during the presidential elections.

The investigation found, there had been a $130,000 payment made to Daniels in October 2016 to keep quiet about an affair from ten years prior.

Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was initially charged for administering these funds to Daniels in order to help Trump’s campaign. Since the funds were made to help Trump, these were then considered campaign contributions. Each candidate has a donation limit of $2,700 during each election, so Cohen’s payment violated the Federal Election Campaign Act.

USA Today reports, “The two goals are reducing corruption and improving transparency. Large payments from individuals and corporations to candidates increase the chance that something is demanded in return. And listing donors and how candidates spend their money on publicly available reports allows citizens to judge candidates in those two areas.”

The indictment is sealed, meaning it was not yet released to the public. Trump was in court on April 4.

According to the Associated Press, “When Trump turns himself in, he’ll be booked mostly like anyone else facing charges, mugshot, finger printing and all, but he isn’t expected to be put in handcuffs; he’ll have Secret Service protection and will almost certainly be released the same day.”

Trump and other Republicans have responded that the charges are politically motivated.