Former President Donald Trump claims he will be arrested Tuesday for allegedly paying porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about their alleged affair.
It comes more than six years after Trump’s lawyers paid Daniels a total of $130,000 to keep the affair quiet, with New York prosecutors considering whether he should be charged. Trump denies the affair and knowledge of the payments.
Trump claimed on his Truth Social account that the Manhattan district attorney’s office will arrest him within days and branded the investigation “corrupt and highly political,” calling the alleged hush money payment an “old and completely debunked fairy tale.” .
If Trump’s claims of impending arrest are true, he would be the first former president ever to face criminal charges. His post came hours after it was alleged that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg was planning to indict Trump next week.
Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, responded to the development on Saturday by stating that if he is indicted, Trump would be “re-elected with a landslide victory” in the 2024 presidential election. And legal experts say Trump could still be elected president even if he is indicted or convicted.
Trump’s attorney said the former president continues to deny the substance of allegations of a sexual relationship with Daniels (pictured with Trump), calling the $130,000 an “inconvenient payment” that rich or famous people sometimes pay to have a . make a distracting situation disappear
He labeled them “corrupt and highly political” and called the alleged hush money payment an “old and completely debunked fairy tale.”
It comes more than six years after Trump’s lawyers allegedly paid Daniels to remain silent about the affair, with New York prosecutors considering whether he should be charged
A Trump spokesman said he is “justifiably emphasizing his innocence and the weaponization of our injustice system.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said, “Here we go again — an outrageous abuse of power by a radical prosecutor who is running violent criminals as he pursues political revenge against President Trump.
“I am instructing relevant committees to immediately investigate whether federal funds are being used to undermine our democracy by disrupting elections with politically motivated prosecutions.”
Last week, the former president and 2024 hopeful was invited to testify before a grand jury in Manhattan, with his longtime fixer and former attorney Michael Cohen testifying Monday.
Cohen was in jail after pleading guilty to two criminal charges, including the use of campaign finance related to Daniels and another woman who allegedly had an affair with Trump.
He said he had acted on his orders and that the payouts were intended to keep the affair stories out of public knowledge before the 2016 election. Trump has admitted that he paid back Cohen
Daniels met with prosecutors on Wednesday to answer further questions in the case and her attorney, Clark Brewster, said she would also make herself available as a witness in the future if needed.
Trump claims he will be arrested by the Manhattan district attorney’s office – with Musk saying it would mean a ‘landing victory’ for the former president’s re-election campaign
Elon Musk, pictured at the 2022 Met gala, believes criminal charges against Trump will help achieve re-election in the 2024 presidential race
Cohen has also indicated that he has provided the grand jury with damning testimony implicating Trump. He testified for three hours on Monday.
Beforehand, he said, “This is all about accountability. He must be held accountable for his dirty deeds.’
Speculation that charges were imminent also increased when Bragg told Trump’s team that the former president could testify before the grand jury if he wanted to — a notice usually at the end of a trial that could mean an indictment. is near.
Legal experts have said Trump could face either of two charges over the payments, but also admit that both are difficult to prove.
He could be charged with falsifying company records if it is alleged that Trump knew his commission deal with Cohen was a sham to facilitate payments. That would be a felony under New York law unless prosecutors prove files were falsified to cover up another crime, which would make it a misdemeanor.
That other crime could be that the payments violated the state’s election law, because the intent of the alleged reward was to benefit his campaign.
Trump could face up to four years in prison for those charges.
But experts say the former president could still be reelected if charged or even convicted on the issue. Trump has already maintained that he “wouldn’t even think about leaving the race” if indicted.
The US Constitution does not say that a candidate cannot run if he has a criminal record. The prerequisites are simply that a candidate is a natural born citizen who is at least 35 years old and has lived in the US for 14 years or more.
Kate Shaw, a legal analyst and professor at the Cardozo School of Law, told me ABC“There is nothing in the Constitution that disqualifies individuals convicted of crimes from running for or serving as president.”
Any issues are likely to be practical rather than legal, Shaw said, such as jail time making campaigning “difficult, if not impossible.”
Daniels met with prosecutors on Wednesday to answer further questions in the case and tweeted her thanks to her attorney for “helping me in our ongoing fight for truth and justice.”
Trump’s attorney Joseph Tacopina also said this week that an indictment was “more likely” due to recent developments.
“But the one thing I still cling to is the hope that justice will prevail,” he said.
Tacopina also said he hopes DA Alvin Bragg’s Manhattan office “will not stoop to the level of Mark Pomerantz, who was looking for a crime that fits the person.”
Tacopina referenced a memoir by former Manhattan Special Assistant District Attorney Mark Pomerantz, who led the agency’s investigation into Trump for a year starting February 2021.
In a letter sent to the commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation last Friday, Trump’s attorney accused Bragg and his predecessor, Cyrus Vance, Jr., of conducting a “politically motivated investigation.”
Prosecutors “armed” their office, Tacopina wrote, “by searching every aspect of President Trump’s personal life and business affairs going back decades, hoping to find a legal basis – no matter how far-fetched, novel or complex – to prosecute him.” . ‘
Vance has said “it’s hard to argue that the earlier investigations were politically motivated.”
A Trump spokesperson said: “There has been no report, other than illegal leaks from the Justice Department and the District Attorney’s office, to NBC and other fake news outlets, that the George Soros-funded radical left Democratic Attorney General in Manhattan has decided to take his witch hunt to the next level. President Trump rightly emphasizes his innocence and the weaponization of our injustice system. He will be in Texas next weekend for a massive rally. Make America Great Again!’ – Trump spokesman.”