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Donald Trump, indicted | News summary | Friday 31 March 2023

¿Qué sabemos de la comparecencia ante el tribunal de Donald Trump del próximo martes?

Donald Trump indicted: latest news

Headlines | Friday 31 March, 2023

Donald Trump is facing criminal charges after his defense team was notified that a NY grand jury voted to indict him

- Trump expected to be charged with around two dozen crimes including felonies

- Indictement relates to the payment of $130,000 to former porn star Stormy Daniels in the run up to 2016 election

- Trump's court hearing set for Tuesday at 2:15 p.m. A deal is said to have been made to ensure he is not handcuffed

- He becomes the first ever president to be indicted

- Republicans decry move as politically motivated

Related stories:

Donald Trump indictment: Is the tax policy in NY different from the rest of the country?

Donald Trump and his business have been under scrutiny from authorities for bookkeeping practices that reduced taxes. How is New York tax policy different?


Trump to be charged with around two dozen crimes including felonies

Donald Trump has been indicted by a New York grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to investigate hush money payments made in 2016 to porn star Stormy Daniels.

ABC News reports that while the exact charges against the former president are still under seal and unknown at this time, sources have said that Trump faces around two dozen charges, including felonies.


DeSantis, Trump's siding opponent

Even his Republican rivals for the presidential run can't point to the actual evidence stacked up against Trump. They can't afford to lose the potential MAGA voters if they take over the mantle in his absence.

"The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head," DeSantis tweeted.

"It is un-American.

"The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent.

"Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda."


Trump indictment gets Kimmel treatment

Jimmy Kimmel is clearly not alone in going in hard on the latest revelation, and boy did he enjoy it.

"The J in Donald J Trump now stands for 'jail'," Kimmel says in his opening monologue.


Cohen's mixed feelings for Trump

Picturing Donald Trump being led through the booking process, getting fingerprinted, having his mugshot taken, fills me with delight and sadness all at the same time.

Michael Cohen, Former personal lawyer to Trump

Lock him/her up: the Trump/Hilary debate

One of the arguments being made by those defending Trump is over the Hilary Clinton situation. The former president had all his followers screaming "lock her up!" and there was even a decent trade going on with associated merchandise, but there's one rather huge difference in this whataboutery.

From the information we have Clinton honoured her subpoena and spent over 11 hours testifying. Trump, on the other hand, ignored countless subpoenas when he was forced to turn up took the 5th amendment -- some he said only criminals do -- on multiple occasions, something Hilary didn't use even once.

They really aren't the same, are they?


McCarthy goes after Alvin Bragg

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was one of many Republicans to stand by the former president. Instead of standing up for law and order, he instead targeted Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during a rally in Conroe, Texas, U.S., January 29, 2022. REUTERS/Go Nakamura/File Photo

Go Nakamura / Reuters

The potential result of a conviction for Donald Trump

Should Trump be arrested, stand trial and his lawyers lose, then Trump will be sentenced for a felony charge of tax fraud.

The law states, under IRC § 7201, any person who willfully attempts to evade or defeat taxes can be charged with a felony, with penalties including up to $100,000 in fines, up to five years in prison, and the costs of prosecution.

What is the highest sentence Trump could receive if convicted of tax fraud?

Though the exact charges have not yet been revealed, it is believed that they could be tax fraud charges. Specifically this would relate to failing to declare the payment through his then lawyer Michael Cohen, who is in jail for his role in the payment.

It will be a long time before any verdict is given as the case would need to go to what would inevitably a very publicised trial. But if it is guilty there can be some idea what would happen next.


Trump court hearing confirmed for Tuesday afternoon

Donald Trump's court hearing has been set for 14:15 ET.

He has yet to be arrested.


Republicans react to indictment news

It's an outrage... This will only further serve to divide our country.

Mike Pence, Former Vice President Mike Pence

The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head. 

Ron DeSantis, FLorida Governor

"I have no comment on Trump" - President Biden

US President Joe Biden has declined to comment on the situation surrounding his predecessor.

Reporters gathered on the White House south lawn asked him several times about the Trump indictment. He replied curtly, "I have no comment on Trump."


Would Trump's presidential run be killed by a guilty verdict?

As already explained, a criminal conviction does not immediately outlaw someone from being precedent. Indeed, for this case of a former president there are no prior examples to draw to.

That doesn't mean voters will ignore it.

The Quinnipiac University poll, released a day before Thursday's indictment, found 57% of those surveyed think criminal charges should preclude Trump from running for office again.

There was large partisan divide, with 88% of Democrats saying they believe charges should disqualify the former President, compared to 23% of Republicans.

Could Trump still run for president if he is arrested for the Stormy Daniels case?

The prospect of Trump’s arrest has led to questions about his presidential candidacy, since he has been campaigning to be the Republican bet for the White House seat in 2024.

As it turns out, being arrested for or even convicted of a crime does not disqualify a person from running for the highest office in the United States. There is no particular law or constitutional provision that prohibits a convicted or arrested person from being a presidential candidate.

Strictly legally speaking, there would be no impediment to Trump’s efforts to return to office.

People and police officers stand outside Trump Tower after former U.S. President Donald Trump said that FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago Palm Beach home, in New York City, U.S., August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Eduadro Munoz / Reuters

The likely charges and their outcomes

The charges that Bragg is bringing against the former president would most likely be related to fraudulent bookkeeping. Because the statute of limitations has expired to charge Trump with a misdemeanor, a felony charge or charges could be expected. For this, the DA will need to show that in falsifying records to file the hush payments as a business expense, there was the intention of committing, aiding or concealing a second crime.

It’s unknown if charges will be brought in relation to campaign-finance violations. Presidential elections fall under federal law, but Bragg may attempt to use state campaign-finance laws, but this is uncharted water and would be legally complicated.

In the case of a felony charge of falsifying business records, were Trump to be convicted he could face up to four years in prison.

Who is Alvin Bragg? The Manhattan DA behind Trump’s indictment

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg sealed his name in the record books after he obtained a grand jury indictment against Donald Trump.

Alvin Bragg is the 37th Manhattan district attorney, assuming the office in January 2022. He is the first black person to serve in this position with biography calling him “a son of Harlem.”

Prior to his election as DA, Bragg served as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, where he was involved in a range of cases involving public corruption, financial fraud, and violent crime.

The Harvard-educated lawyer also worked as a civil rights attorney, serving as the chief deputy attorney general for social justice in the New York State Attorney General’s office.


What are the alleged crimes?

Using Trump's then long-time lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, a payment of $130,000 was made to Stephanie Clifford, a porn star who goes by her stage name Stormy Daniels. The money was allegedly paid to avoid her sharing accounts of the affair Trump had with the porn star a decade earlier prior to the 2016 election. The payments were made by Cohen who was later repaid by Trump.

Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal counts as part of a plea deal in 2018 and was sentenced to three years in prison. Federal investigators dropped their inquiry into Trump’s involvement in the matter in 2019. However, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg opened a grand jury investigation, jump-starting an on-again, off-again criminal probe that dates back to 2016.

What does an indictment mean for Trump? When will he be arraigned?

Donald Trump has become the first former US president to face criminal charges after a New York grand jury voted to indict him. On Thursday it was reported that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg notified his defense team of the historic decision.

Should Trump surrender to New York authorities, it is expected that he will be arraigned early next week.

Read more on when Trump could be arrested.


Welcome to AS USA

Sensational, but expected, news broke yesterday evening that 45th president of the United States Donald Trump is to be arrested.

However, the indictment was filed under seal, and is expected to be revealed in the next few days. The exact charges against him are not yet publicly known.