Five key facts about the arrest of Donald Trump
The 45th President of the United States of America, Donald John Trump was arrested by the New York Attorney’s Office on April 4, 2023 and put before a Supreme Court with 35 felony charges
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Prosecutors alleged that the former president sought to undermine the integrity of the 2016 US election through a hush money scheme with payments made to some women who claimed to have had extramarital affairs with him He has denied the affairs.
Prosecutors accuse Trump of being part of an unlawful plan to suppress negative information, including an illegal payment of $130,000 that was ordered by the defendant to suppress the negative information that would hurt his campaign, prosecutors alleged.
Trump “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election,” parts of the charges against the former president stated.
In all, the former president is facing 35 felony criminal charges of falsifying business records to cover up hush money payments.
History is made
Trump became the first ever former president of the United States of America to be arrested.
His record goes in line with Ulysses S. Grant who became the first sitting American President to be arrested some 150 years ago in 1872.
Grant who was arrested for speeding with his horse was released on a $20 bond, now equivalent to around $430, after his arrest.
Not guilty on all charges
In court on Tuesday, Trump pleaded not guilty to all 35 charges.
His lawyers have stated that they will fight to have all the charges against the former president dropped.
The judge on Tuesday gave Trump’s legal team up to August 8, 2023, to file any motions while the prosecution has been given up to September to respond.
Next appearance in court
The next in-person appearance of President Trump will be on December 4, 2023.
The court at the sitting is expected to rule on the motions that will be filed by the defense.
Some key figures
Bragg is the first Black person elected Manhattan District Attorney in January 2022.
He is the lead prosecutor in the case against Trump. He has entered the books of history as the first prosecutor anywhere to bring a criminal case against a former US president.
A porn actor who has also had bit parts in mainstream films like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up,” Daniels was paid $130,000 to keep quiet about what she has said was an awkward and unexpected sexual encounter with Trump at a celebrity golf outing in Lake Tahoe in 2006. Trump has denied having sex with Daniels.
She is said to have been paid the money in the final weeks of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign after her representative said she was willing to make on-the-record statements to the National Enquirer or on television confirming a sexual encounter with Trump.
Justice Juan Merchan is the veteran judge who serves on Manhattan’s criminal court presiding over the case.
Last year Merchan oversaw a criminal trial of the Trump Organization that ended with the real estate company convicted by a jury of tax fraud and hit with fines, while one of its longtime executives, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded guilty and was sent to jail.
A lawyer by training, Cohen worked for the Trump Organisation from 2006 to 2017, serving as Trump’s fixer. He once proudly proclaimed he’d “take a bullet” for his boss.
Cohen took the lead in arranging the payment to Daniels, passing it through a corporation he established for the purpose. He has said he was then reimbursed by Trump, whose company logged the payment and related bonuses as “legal expenses”.
A few months earlier, Cohen had also arranged for the publisher of the National Enquirer to make a similar $150,00 payment to Karen McDougal, a model who claimed to have had a 10-month relationship with Trump in the 2000s, for the rights to her story about the alleged affair.
Cohen pleaded guilty and served federal prison time after Federal prosecutors in 2018 charged him with evading taxes related to his investments in the taxi industry, lying to Congress and with campaign finance violations related to the hush-money payments.
During testimony before Congress in 2019, Cohen said it was Weisselberg who decided how to structure his
The National Enquirer’s former publisher and a longtime Trump friend, Pecke
Pecker, who was the Enquirer’s chairman and chief executive at the time, agreed to keep Cohen apprised of any
In recent weeks, Tacopina has been making the former president’s case on TV news shows, questioning Bragg’s investigation and motives, challenging Cohen’s credibility as a star witness and suggesting Trump was extorted.
Trump is just the latest big name to turn to Tacopina, whose past clients have included the rappers Meek Mill, Jay-Z and A$AP Rocky and baseball great Alex Rodriguez.
A Brooklyn-born lawyer known for his sharp suits and celebrity clientele, Tacopina is the public face of Trump’s defence team.
Federal prosecutors agreed in 2018 not to prosecute American Media in exchange for its cooperation in the Pecker stepped down as CEO of the publisher in 2020 campaign finance investigation that led to Cohen’s guilty plea and prison sentence.
The Federal Election Commission fined the company $187,500, deeming the McDougal deal as a “prohibited corporate in-kind contribution”.
Cohen signed an agreement to buy the non-disclosure part of McDougal’s contract for $125,000 through a company he formed, but Pecker later called off the deal and told Cohen to tear up the agreement.
The Enquirer’s owner at the time, American Media Inc., then agreed to pay McDougal for “limited life rights” to the story of her relationship with “any then-married man.”
The publisher said it would feature her on two magazine covers and print more than 100 of her articles in exchange for $150,000.such stories.
In June 2016, he alerted Cohen that McDougal’s lawyer had approached the publication seeking to sell her story about an alleged affair with Trump.
Pecker met Cohen during Trump’s 2016 campaign and said the Enquirer’s parent company would help buy and bury potentially damaging stories about Trump’s relationship with women.r testified twice before the grand jury about the tabloid’s involvement in suppressing negative stories about Trump.