Trump Indictment

Former president faces charges in New York

Jackie Ozanich, Managing Editor

     On March 30, Former President Donald J. Trump became the first president to face criminal charges after being indicted by a Manhattan Grand Jury. 

     Trump is being charged with 34 felony charges for his “hush money” payment to Stormy Daniels in 2016. Stormy Daniels, or Stephanie Clifford, is an adult entertainer who has played roles in Space Nuts, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Knocked Up. Daniels claims Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid her $130,000 to keep quiet about the affair Trump had with her in 2016. Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in federal prison and paid a $50,000 fine after pleading guilty in 2018 for the offenses. 

      Daniels claims Trump met her at a charity golf tournament in July 2006, and they later had sex in his hotel room at Lake Tahoe. Melania Trump, Trump’s wife, was not there at the time as she had just given birth. 

     Although a bad look, the affair or payment itself aren’t illegal, but the way the payments were filed–as legal fees, being paid with campaign funding–is, as it’s tax fraud. 

     Trump has faced lots of challenges as he prepares for the 2024 election, after being impeached twice and now facing indictment charges, yet his fans still stand strong. Trump’s campaign has raised over $5 million since the indictment, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, a republican representative of Georgia, planned a protest at Collect Pond Park, which is across the street from the Court House. Greene rallied alongside the New York Young Republicans, drawing a crowd of few dozen Trump supporters. 

     On Tuesday, April 4, Trump surrendered to the Manhattan Criminal Court and faced his arraignment of 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, a class E felony in the state of New York, with each charge resulting in a maximum of four years in prison. Experts say it’s unlikely Trump would serve any jail time. 

      Hours after leaving court, Trump returned to his resort in Palm Beach, Florida, and delivered a speech claiming the case is fake in order to ruin his election.

     Trump’s campaign team claims this event is actually a short-term advantage for Trump’s 2024 campaign, as it puts the spotlight back on him.