Former President Donald Trump is likely to face charges for his role in hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
The New York Times reports this Thursday that Trump’s lawyers had been notified by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office that the ex-president could face criminal charges over the $130,000 payment, citing four sources close to the investigation.
Prosecutors gave Trump the option of appearing before a state grand jury assembled since January that has heard evidence in the case, usually a sign that a person will be charged.
Several of Trump’s top advisers have been spotted entering the Manhattan district attorney’s office in recent days, including former counsel to President Kellyanne Conway and ex-White House communications director Hope Hicks.
An indictment against Trump will make American history, as no ex-president of the United States has ever been criminally charged after leaving office.
Former President Donald Trump (left) is likely to be charged for his role in hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels (right) and Playmate Karen McDougal ahead of the 2016 presidential election
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (pictured) has been investigating whether state laws were broken over hush money payments to a porn star and Playboy playmate on behalf of Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election
President Richard Nixon, who left office over his role in the Watergate burglary, was pardoned by his Republican successor, President Gerald Ford, before criminal charges could be brought.
An impeachment against Trump could also complicate the 2024 presidential election, as he announced his candidacy in November and continues to lead most GOP polls.
If convicted — which is a chance — Trump would be sentenced to four years in prison, though serving time would not be mandatory, according to The Times.
Trump has already escaped charges for his role in hush money payments by federal investigators.
Trump’s former lawyer turned critic, Michael Cohen, was the only person caught up in the federal investigation.
He facilitated the payments between Trump and Daniels as well as Playboy Playmate McDougal, both of whom claimed to have had sexual relations with the married businessman and reality TV star.
Once the federal investigation concluded, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg took over the investigation to see if any New York state laws had been broken.
Bragg’s prosecutors have not yet completed their work before the grand jury and he could decide not to press charges, The Times reported.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has already brought six witnesses to the grand jury, the paper said.
Cohen has met with prosecutors 18 times during different iterations of the investigation, he told the Associated Press after another meeting with them last week.
He said the investigation is “really progressing” and he expected to be subpoenaed before the grand jury soon.
“The level of specificity with which they attack the various issues is extraordinary,” said the former Trump attorney.
Kellyanne Conway was spotted in New York on Wednesday walking into one of the Manhattan District Attorney’s offices as part of the Stormy Daniels investigation into hush money involving former President Donald Trump
In his book, he also links Conway – who made headlines this week for her divorce from her Trump critic husband George – to the hush money payment, writing that she was the person who told Trump that Daniels had been paid off.
Conway, who served as Trump’s campaign manager in 2016, said she would “pass on the good news to Trump” once Cohen gave the money to Daniels, Cohen wrote in his 2020 memoir, Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal attorney to President Donald J. Trump.
Conway ignored reporters Wednesday when she walked into Bragg’s lower Manhattan office.
Trump’s actions are also under scrutiny in Georgia as Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis investigates whether crimes were committed as Trump and his allies attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
In addition, Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed special counsel to oversee the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Trump mishandled classified documents when he left office and his bid to secure President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory. to undo.