The grand jury secretly met for weeks to investigate Trump’s involvement in a 2016 $130,000 “hush” payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to stop her from going public about a sexual encounter she had years earlier. said to have had with him.
The indictment has not yet been unsealed, so it is not entirely clear what charges will be brought against Trump.
Some pundits have said they believe Trump could be charged with falsifying business records, which could be a misdemeanor or misdemeanor under New York law. To secure a conviction under the misdemeanor charge, prosecutors would have to prove that records had been falsified with intent to commit or conceal a second felony. It’s not clear what prosecutors can claim as the second crime.
Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen allegedly paid Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, through a shell company before being reimbursed by Trump, whose company, the Trump Organization, reportedly recorded the fees as legal fees.
Trump denies having sex with Stormy Daniels.
Trump’s company “grossed” Cohen’s compensation for Daniels’ payment to cover tax payments, according to federal prosecutors who filed criminal charges against the lawyer in connection with the 2018 payments. In all, Cohen was paid £291,000 ($360,000). ) plus £48,000 ($60,000) bonus, for a total of £339,000 ($420,000).
Cohen pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance law in connection with the payments. Federal prosecutors say the payments amounted to illegal, unreported aid to Trump’s campaign. But they declined to press charges against Trump himself.