Trump Charged With Felony In N.Y. Indictment, Report Says

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Topline

Former President Donald Trump has been charged with at least one felony as part of his indictment in Manhattan over an alleged hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, according to the Associated Press, suggesting the ex-president could face a stiff penalty if convicted.

Key Facts

It’s not clear what felony charge Trump faces, according to the AP, citing two people with knowledge of the matter.

CNN reported Thursday that Trump was indicted on more than 30 counts related to business fraud, but the severity of those charges—which remain under seal—are not publicly known.

Trump is expected to plead not guilty to all charges at an arraignment Tuesday afternoon.

Key Background

Whether or not Trump would face felony charges had been the subject of legal debate in his case, which centers on a $130,000 payment Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, made to Daniels during the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign in an alleged attempt to keep her from publicly disclosing an affair she claimed to have with Trump years earlier. Cohen was reimbursed the $130,000 for so-called legal services, which legal experts say may have been a misdemeanor falsification of business records. But they have also said prosecutors might argue the payment amounted to a felony illegal campaign donation if it was done for political purposes, though that relies on a largely untested legal theory. Trump has repeatedly blasted the case as a politically motivated “witch hunt” and denied ever having an affair with Daniels.

What To Watch For

Trump is expected to spend a short time in custody after he turns himself in Tuesday, but he will likely be fingerprinted and have his mugshot taken during that period, and be released after entering a plea. Trump has called for protests and warned of “death & destruction” over his indictment, but few demonstrations were seen around the country Friday. That could change Tuesday, when hard-right firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said she will travel to New York City to protest “the unconstitutional WITCH HUNT!” A New York Police Department spokesperson told Forbes on Friday evening that “Officers have been placed on alert and the department remains ready to respond as needed,” but no credible threats have been identified.

Further Reading

Trump Indicted By Manhattan Grand Jury—Arraignment Expected Tuesday On Over 30 Charges, Reports Say (Forbes)

Breaking Down The Case Against Trump: New York Prosecutors Must Prove Complex Legal Theory—And It Could Be Risky (Forbes)

Trump Indicted In Manhattan—Here’s What Will Happen Next (Yes, He’ll Probably Get A Mugshot) (Forbes)

Trump Says He Will Be Arrested Tuesday—Urges Supporters To Protest (Forbes)

Trump Warns Of ‘Death And Destruction’ If He Is Charged In Hush Money Probe (Forbes)

Trump Protests: Police In N.Y. And D.C. Prepare For Unrest—But So Far, So Little (Forbes)

Marjorie Taylor Greene Says She’ll Protest Trump Indictment In New York—As NYPD Steps Up Security (Forbes)