Former President Donald Trump lashed out at prosecutors after The New York Times reported that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg may be close to criminally charging him in connection with the 2016 hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Prosecutors at the DA’s office offered Trump the opportunity to testify before a grand jury investigating the case next week, a signal that an impending indictment is likely near, The Times reported on Thursday, which could potentially mark the first indictment of a former president in history.
Prosecutors have interviewed a growing number of former Trump aides, including former spokeswoman Hope Hicks, former adviser Kellyanne Conway, and former personal attorney Michael Cohen — who pleaded guilty to federal charges for wiring $130,000 to Daniels during the 2016 campaign and testified that Trump reimbursed him for the expense. The Trump Organization wrote off the payment as a legal expense to Cohen.
Trump responded to the report with a lengthy diatribe on Truth Social, claiming that he “did absolutely nothing wrong” and that he “never had an affair with Stormy Daniels.” Trump repeated his allegation that the probe is a “political witch hunt” aimed at “trying to take down the leading candidate, by far, in the Republican Party while at the same time also leading all Democrats in the polls.” He claimed that the probe was part of a larger politically motivated conspiracy including the Justice Department to bring him down.
“Now, they fall back on the old, and rebuked case which has been rejected by every prosecutor’s office that has looked at this Stormy ‘Horseface’ Daniels matter, where I relied on counsel in order to resolve this Extortion of me, which took place a long time ago,” Trump wrote. “Since then, I have won lawsuits for hundreds of thousands of dollars against Stormy Daniels, and every prosecutors’ office which has looked at it, which are numerous, including the FEC, have turned this fake case down. “
Trump linked the Manhattan probe to previous federal investigations into his campaign and his presidency.
“It is Russia, Russia, Russia, Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine, the no-collusion Mueller hoax, and other targeted, false attacks against me all over again. It is a weaponization of our judicial system,” Trump wrote, claiming that it “only means that they are certain that they cannot win at the voter booth.”
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“I, and hundreds of millions of the American People who are backing me, because they want to see our nation be great again, are the victims of this corrupt, depraved, and weaponized justice system where Hunter Biden and his father can commit horrendous crimes, all accurately documented on his laptop, and nothing happens, but with me, after looking at 11 million pages worth of documents, they go after a hoax that every other prosecutor’s office which reviewed it, and even the U.S. Congress, has long ago dropped,” he concluded.
Even if Trump is ultimately indicted in Manhattan, securing a conviction or even prison time could be a challenge. The Times report noted that the case relies on a complex legal theory. Prosecutors could charge Trump with a misdemeanor in connection to his company falsifying records but he could be charged with a felony if prosecutors can show an “intent to commit or conceal a second crime,” which in this case would be a violation of state law against campaign expenses designed to evade legal limits. If Trump is ultimately convicted of a felony, he could face up to four years in prison.
about the Manhattan DA probe