In recent days, former President Donald Trump has been given the opportunity to testify in front of a grand jury in Manhattan over the hush money issue involving porn actress Stormy Daniels. This is an indication that criminal charges may be forthcoming.
The office of the Manhattan district attorney is said to have made the offer known to Trump’s legal team, as reported by the New York Times. Since the scandal involving hush money broke in 2016, this office, which is headed by DA Alvin Bragg, has been conducting an investigation into the matter for the past five years.
In the state of New York, the possibility of being called before a grand jury is almost always indicative of an impending criminal charge. This would be the very first time that a former President of the United States has been charged with a crime.
Even though Trump has the legal right to testify in front of the grand jury in New York, it is highly unlikely that he will use this privilege. Many defendants in New York forgo their ability to testify.
Although paying someone to keep their mouth shut is not illegal, prosecutors can claim that the $130,000 that was paid to Daniels should not have been considered a gift to the Trump campaign because Daniels’ NDA helped Trump win the election.
According to the Times, the case against Trump hinges on an “untested and therefore risky legal theory involving a complex interplay of laws.”
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Michael Cohen, a lawyer for Donald Trump, allegedly paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 toward the close of the 2016 presidential campaign in an effort to dissuade her from speaking publicly about her affair with Trump in 2006. Cohen was compensated by Trump in several separate payments.
The National Enquirer had been contacted by representatives of Daniels in an effort to make a deal for exclusive rights to the story. Instead of publishing the story, the publisher, who is a Trump supporter, coordinated a deal between Cohen and Daniels’ team.
Throughout the course of the investigation into Cohen’s criminal activities, the prosecutors contended that Trump’s corporation fraudulently declared the payments to Stormy Daniels to be legal expenditures. Due to the fact that the repayment was conducted in secret, this might be considered the falsification of business records.
One might be charged with a misdemeanor for falsifying business records. If Trump has the intent to defraud or hide, then the allegation might be upgraded to a more serious felony.
The inquiry in New York is taking place at the same time as Trump is the subject of an investigation by the district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, for allegedly interfering in the election in 2020. Meanwhile, a federal special counsel is looking into both Trump’s handling of confidential materials and his connection to the disturbances that took place in the Capitol on January 6.
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