NEW YORK — There’s a high probability that Trump could be indicted on criminal charges in Manhattan this week, according to legal analysts and Trump’s own lawyers.
In your Breakdown, we are simplifying the reasons why, and why it’s so remarkable.
The possible charges stem from alleged hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. Trump’s campaign allegedly recorded the $130,000 dollars as ‘legal expenses’ when reimbursing former attorney Michael Cohen.
Cohen went to prison in 2018 for charges relating to that payment, but now the Manhattan District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, wants to know what Trump’s role was in the payment.
Trump has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and called this case “a political Witch-Hunt."
There’s concern over possible violence after Trump is arrested or turns himself in. The NYPD is setting up barricades near the courthouse complex, after Trump called on his followers on social media to, “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!”.
There’s another layer, too. Trump now lives at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Florida law gives the governor power to call for a further investigation before a defendant is extradited.
But that would mean Trump would need the help of Governor Ron Desantis, who is likely also running for president, and who Trump has mocked repeatedly. Monday, Desantis distanced himself from Trump’s legal troubles and said he’s not getting involved.
Trump would be the first-ever former United States president to be indicted, and likely the first presidential candidate to campaign while facing criminal charges. There are currently four major criminal probes into Trump and his activity. This one may make history this week.