Breaking: Manhattan Grand Jury Indicts Donald Trump

Musical accompaniment, Whoomp! There It Is.

It is being widely reported that the Manhattan DA’s criminal grand jury has voted to indict Donald Trump. CNBC reports, NY grand jury indicts Trump in hush money payment case:

A New York grand jury voted Thursday to indict former President Donald Trump in connection with a $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, his lawyer told CNBC.

Trump is the first former president to be charged with a crime. [Only because Gerry Ford pardoned the criminal Richard Nixon.]

The historic indictment stems from the Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation into how the Trump Organization recorded a reimbursement to Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen after Cohen paid Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual encounter she says she had with Trump in 2006.

[T]he Trump Organization in business records described the reimbursement to Cohen as a legal expense.

Falsifying business records is normally a misdemeanor under New York law, but can be elevated to a felony if the misstatement was done to cover up another crime.

The indictment, which will be prosecuted by the DA’s Alvin Bragg’s office, is the first in what could end up being several criminal cases against Trump, the leading contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Trump is also under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice in two separate criminal cases, for the Espionage Act (removal and retention of classified documents, and for seditious conspiracy and insurrection on january 6, 2021.

Trump is also under investigation by the Fulton County District Attorney in Georgia for his election interference in Georgia in 2020.

CNN reports that Team Trump says it was “blindsided” by the indictment. But you guys were the ones who pretended to know the exact date and time Trump would be indicted! Bunch of assclowns. CNN is also reporting that Trump will be arraigned next week.

I’m still waiting on an official announcement from Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg as to the charges.

Donald Trump has a very limited vocabulary, the only words he knows are “with hunt!” S.V. Date writes,  Trump Keeps Crying ‘Witch Hunt’ — But What Happens When A Witch Is Actually Indicted?

Donald Trump has for years complained about a never-ending “witch hunt” against him ― but what happens when a long-hunted witch is finally indicted?

America looks ever more likely to find out, with the coup-attempting former president apparently on the cusp of making history twice: as the first ex-commander in chief to face criminal charges as well as the first major presidential candidate running while under indictment.

Prosecutors in New York City and Atlanta appear close to asking for formal grand jury charges against Trump and, in Georgia, a number of his close allies. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is pursuing Trump’s $130,000 hush money payment to an adult film star, while Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has spent two years investigating Trump’s attempts to fraudulently overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia.

U.S. Department of Justice officials are also investigating Trump’s actions leading up to and on Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of his supporters assaulted the Capitol as part of his last-ditch attempt to hang onto power. The department is also looking into Trump’s refusal to turn over top secret documents in defiance of a subpoena.

Nevertheless, his supporters gloat while opponents caution that a Trump formally accused of a crime would actually gain in stature ― akin to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s warning to Darth Vader before their duel in the first “Star Wars” film that killing him would only make him more powerful.

[But while Kenobi truly did become more powerful after Vader struck him down, it is not at all certain that Trump would similarly grow stronger should he be indicted.

Kenobi was able to move effortlessly throughout the galaxy in the original trilogy, offering Luke Skywalker invaluable guidance at key moments. Trump, on the other hand, would be facing court appearances and, eventually, a criminal trial.

“It’s 2024. It’s not 2016,” said a former senior official in the Trump White House on condition of anonymity.

He agreed that Trump’s [MAGA/QAnon] supporters would stand with him. “Even if he was sitting in prison, they would write him in as a candidate,” he said, although he laughed at the notion that a formal criminal charge would somehow help Trump. “There are a lot of people who are going to say: We can’t vote for a guy who’s under indictment. This isn’t New Jersey.”

One Republican party chairman in a key state agreed that a criminal indictment is never a desirable feature in a campaign, not even in Trump’s case. “No, an indictment is not helpful,” he said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

Others, even those who badly want the country and the Republican Party to be rid of Trump forever, worry that multiple candidates seeking the 2024 nomination would allow Trump’s hardcore base to once again hand him the victory.

“I’m of the camp that thinks that indicting him helps politically,” said former New Hampshire state Republican chairman Fergus Cullen, who fears that a formal criminal charge would let Trump lock in his own support and then win back others who might have been ready to move on.

Only in a party of criminals would an indictment make a candidate stronger. This speaks to the lawlessness and lack of moral character of MAGA/QAnon Republicans.

Trump has been telling his voting base for years that mainstream Republicans, prosecutors in multiple states and the federal government, and the media were all out to get him, noted David Kochel, a longtime Republican consultant from Iowa.

“They view Trump as the most persecuted man on the planet, and he feeds into that,” Kochel said. “If he were to be indicted, it will only validate what they already feel about it.”

One is related to his efforts to overturn the Electoral College victory of President Joe Biden in the 2020 election as he made false claims of widespread ballot fraud in the popular vote that year.

The other probe is focused on Trump’s removal of government records from the White House, and whether he obstructed justice by keeping them at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, for more than a year as government officials sought their return.

A state prosecutor in Atlanta is also separately investigating Trump and a number of his allies over their attempt to get Georgia officials to reverse his loss to Biden in the state in 2020.

The Manhattan prosecution of Trump comes more than four years after Cohen, who loyally served him for years before that, turned on Trump and began cooperating with federal, state and local law enforcement officials in New York.

Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal criminal charges that included campaign finance violations for both the Daniels payment and a separate payment he facilitated to Playboy model Karen McDougal to buy her silence over an affair she said she started with Trump in 2006.

The Federal Election Commission in 2021 fined the publisher of The National Enquirer $187,500 for “knowingly and willfully” violating campaign law by paying McDougal a $150,000 “catch and kill” fee to buy her story and bury it ahead of the 2016 election.

Cohen said the payments were designed to protect Trump’s chances in that election, when he faced Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump escaped punishment from the FEC.

Cohen met 20 times with investigators from the DA’s office before testifying over two days last week before the grand jury in Manhattan Criminal Court. That panel began meeting in late January and heard testimony from multiple witnesses before Cohen.

Trump and a number of Republican elected officials have accused Manhattan DA Bragg, who is a Democrat, of pursuing the investigation to harm him politically.

Bragg’s focus on the payment to Daniels in recent months came as a surprise, as it was considered by many to be the weakest possible criminal case against Trump in a probe that began four years ago under Bragg’s predecessor as DA, Cyrus Vance Jr.

In February 2022, two top prosecutors who were working on the investigation quit after Bragg indicated he was suspending the probe.

At the time, that investigation was focused on Cohen’s allegations that Trump and the Trump Organization reported different values for the same real estate properties to lower their tax burden and insurance costs and to maximize the value of loans against them, among other things.

One of the prosecutors, Mark Pomerantz, in his resignation letter said Trump was “guilty of numerous felony violations,” which related to the “preparation and use of his annual Statements of Financial Condition,” which “were false.”

Attorney General Letitia James in September filed a civil lawsuit seeking at least $250 million in penalties from Trump, his company, and three of his adult children, alleging widespread fraud in financial statements.

James’ lawsuit, which is headed to trial later this year, seeks to permanently bar Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump from serving as an officer of a company in New York and permanently prohibit the Trump companies named in the suit from doing business in New York state.

In December, a Manhattan jury convicted two subsidiaries of the Trump Organization of multiple crimes related to a scheme that since 2005 had sought to avoid paying taxes on executive compensation in the form of perks including free apartments and luxury cars to then-chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg.

Trump was not personally charged in that case, but he “knew exactly what was going on,” a prosecutor said in closing arguments in Manhattan Supreme Court.

The Trump subsidiaries convicted in the case were fined $1.6 million for the scheme in January at sentencing.

Weisselberg, who had pleaded guilty in that case in August, was sentenced in January to five months in jail. He is scheduled to be released from the notorious Rikers Island jail on April 19, which factors in time off his sentence for good behavior.

Reminder: A week ago, Troll Boy posted this comment to an earlier post: “So says AZBM as the case against Trump falls apart before everyone’s eyes.” I expect you to submit your resignation from the Arizona legislature by the close of  business today.

Developing story.

5 thoughts on “Breaking: Manhattan Grand Jury Indicts Donald Trump”

  1. Kari Lake and the fascist right, use Trump indictment as massive fund raising scam, to separate suckers from their money. Hurrah!

  2. Well, if convicted and draws a prison sentence it would be highly appropriate if the judge steals one of VTY’s catch phrases and says “Bye Bye” as the miscreant is hauled off in cuffs. Manhattan, Georgia or DC, it doesn’t matter so long as it happens and is broadcast on an endless loop.

  3. C’mon Donny! Let’s see that white Bronco police chase on U.S. Highway 98 across Florida. That’s the kind of high drama you want.

    Actually, he and the Trump crime family are a flight risk of a different sort. He has his own jet, the Trump crime family could fly off to his new home in Moscow or Pyongyang, and foreclose extradition back to the U.S.

    • The white Bronco had a black guy in it, and it’s not part of Cheeto’s style to go there. He’ll choose something that’s more his style. A Mercedes. Or a Russian SUV.

      Someone else’s, of course.

  4. Loser “Krazy Kari” Lake chimes in: “Kari Lake says indictment ‘only strengthens our resolve to fight'”, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/live-blog/live-updates-manhattan-grand-jury-indicted-donald-trump-rcna75172#rcrd11804

    Arizona Republican Kari Lake responded to Trump’s indictment with three tweets Thursday, saying the news would make Trump “stronger.”

    “I didn’t think I could possibly support him more, but this political Witch Hunt only strengthens our resolve to fight,” she tweeted.

    Lake vigorously promoted Trump’s lies about the 2020 presidential election during her failed 2022 campaign for Arizona governor, and went on to make claims of election fraud after her own defeat.

    She echoed the false claims in her tweets Thursday.

    “The Radical Left and their weaponized criminal justice system have crossed all legal & ethical lines in an attempt to destroy the 45th & 47th President of the United State of America Donald J. Trump,” she tweeted.

    -A broken record of stupidity.

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