Donald Trump indicted, first US ex-president to face criminal charges
Donald Trump has become the first former United States (US) president ever to face criminal charges after a New York grand jury indicted him for allegedly paying $130,000 as hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of his extramarital sexual encounter. He is likely to surrender early next week, and his arraignment could begin on Tuesday.
Why does this story matter?
- The case's proceedings could jeopardize Trump's campaign as the front-runner for the Republican nomination for the 2024's US presidential election.
- It could also have an impact on the Capitol Hill attack case, in which his supporters allegedly laid siege to the US Capitol after he was voted out of power.
- The Republicans have accused Democrat prosecutor Alvin Bragg of pursuing a political vendetta.
What is the case against Trump?
Trump allegedly had a sexual encounter with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, at a celebrity golf outing in Lake Tahoe in 2006. During Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, Daniels expressed her willingness to give an official statement confirming her sexual encounter with Trump. Trump then allegedly paid Daniels to hush up the matter to save his presidential campaign, which he eventually won.
Trump's lawyer accepted making the settlement in court
Reportedly, Trump got his then-lawyer Michael Cohen to pay Daniels the hush money. Cohen, who was jailed from 2018-20 on multiple charges, accepted in court that Trump ordered the settlement. Meanwhile, Daniels's lawyer said Trump's indictment shows no one is above the law.
Leftist campaign to destory MAGA movement: Trump on indictment
Trump has, however, denied the charges and called the indictment a leftist campaign "to destroy the Make America Great Again movement." He accused the Democrats of lying and cheating to "get Trump" and indulging in blatant Election Interference to indict "a completely innocent person." He accused Bragg—Manhattan's first Black district attorney—of "doing Joe Biden's dirty work" while the Republicans accused him of abusing power.
Trump is facing charges in other cases
Aside from the hush money, Trump is also facing charges over his alleged efforts to overturn his electoral loss in Georgia in 2020 and subsequently his possible role in the Capitol Hill riot of January 2021. He is also accused of handling classified documents after leaving office. During his presidency, the House of Representatives impeached him twice. However, the Senate acquitted him both times.