Will Donald Trump become the first former US president to face criminal charges? The billionaire himself seems to fear it. This Saturday, he assured on his social network Truth Social that he was going to be “arrested” on Tuesday before a possible indictment. We explain to you what justice accuses him of.
In 2016, two weeks before the presidential election, won by the Republican against Democrat Hillary Clinton, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, pays 130,000 dollars to Stormy Daniels, a former porn star. But the affair only broke out in 2018, when Stormy Daniels, Stephanie Clifford of her real name, claims to have had a sexual relationship with Donald Trump a dozen years ago.
The payment would have served to buy his silence and thus not harm the candidate Trump. For his part, Donald Trump has always denied any connection with Stormy Daniels.
Since then, Michael Cohen, who has become one of Donald Trump’s worst enemies, has been sentenced, after pleading guilty, to three years in prison, in particular for having orchestrated this payment in violation of the laws on the financing of electoral campaigns. He assured that he acted at the express request of the Republican candidate, who would have reimbursed him once he arrived at the White House.
The payment of money to Stormy Daniels, in itself legal, is problematic because the New York prosecutor’s office, which led the investigation, considers it to be a hidden donation to the president’s campaign, in violation of the election financing laws.
” Witch hunt “
New York prosecutors heard from Michael Cohen last week and Stormy Daniels on Wednesday. Signs and rumors have since multiplied of a possible criminal indictment of Donald Trump by a grand jury – a citizens’ panel with broad investigative powers to endorse an indictment – in this phase of investigation led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, an elected magistrate and Democrat.
According to New York Times, Donald Trump could be charged with a misdemeanor of misrepresentation accounting to conceal the payment to Stormy Daniels. These charges could escalate and become criminal if prosecutors believe the offense was intended to cover up a violation of campaign finance rules.
After these revelations, the former president had denounced last week a “political witch hunt aimed at bringing down the leading candidate, (and this) by far, of the Republican Party” in the primary for the presidential election of 2024. This Saturday , he called for demonstrations against his arrest. In 2020, convinced that the 2020 election had been “stolen” from him by Joe Biden, he had already called on his supporters to mobilize ahead of January 6, 2021, stoking the political crisis which culminated in the assault on his supporters. against the Capitol, where Congress sits.
If Donald Trump does become the first ex-president to be criminally indicted, it could complicate his race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. But, “by making the indictment by a Manhattan Democratic prosecutor a sign of an endless witch hunt against him, Donald Trump could paradoxically strengthen his “anti-system” position in the Republican primary”, analyzes
American political historian Corentin Sellin.
En faisant de l'inculpation par 1 procureur démocrate de Manhattan le signe d'1 chasse aux sorcières sans fin contre lui, D. #Trump pourrait paradoxalement fortifier sa position "anti- système" dans la primaire républicaine. 4/ https://t.co/NC3LORxo7j— Corentin Sellin (@CorentinSellin) March 18, 2023
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