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Tags: alvin bragg | donald trump | indictment

Manhattan DA Bragg: Trump Conspired to Save 2016 Campaign

By    |   Tuesday, 04 April 2023 06:07 PM EDT

Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg claimed Tuesday former President Donald Trump conspired to illegally prevent damage to his 2016 presidential campaign through a series of hush-money payments.

"Donald Trump, executives at the publishing company American Media Incorporated, [Former Trump attorney Michael] Cohen and others agreed in 2015 to a catch-and-kill scheme," Bragg said at a news conference. "That is a scheme to buy and suppress negative information to help Mr. Trump’s chance of winning the election.

"As part of this scheme, Donald Trump and others made three payments to people who claimed to have negative information about Mr. Trump. To make these payments, they set up shell companies, and they made yet more false statements, including for example on AMI business records. One of the three people they paid to keep quiet was a woman named Stormy Daniels."

Trump was arraigned earlier Tuesday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan and pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. He is the first former U.S. President to face criminal charges.

The indictment revealed new details about a scheme prosecutors said involved payoffs to two women, including porn star Stormy Daniels, who alleged they had extramarital sexual encounters with Trump years earlier, as well as to a Trump Tower doorman who claimed to have a story about a child he alleged the former president had out of wedlock.

Cohen, who is said to be the star witness to Bragg’s case, made a $130,000 payment on Trump’s behalf to Daniels shortly before the 2016 election to keep her quiet about an alleged affair. Trump has repeatedly denied having an affair with Daniels. Bragg said instead of admitting the payment was to keep Daniels quiet about an affair, Trump listed the reimbursement to Cohen as “fictitious” legal services.

“That is why Mr. Trump made false statements about his payments to Mr. Cohen,” Bragg said. “He cannot simply say the payments are a reimbursement for Mr. Cohen’s payments to Stormy Daniels. To do so, to make that true statement, would have been to admit to a crime. So instead, Mr. Trump said he was paying Mr. Cohen for fictitious legal services in 2017 to cover up the actual crime committed the prior year.”

Bragg said in order to get Cohen his money back, Trump and Cohen planned to mischaracterize the repayments to Cohen as income to the New York state tax authorities.

Cohen was sentenced in 2018 to three years in prison after pleading guilty to financial crimes related to the payment, as well as lying to Congress. Trump has said he was aware of the payment but has repeatedly denied having an affair with Daniels.

Prosecutors said the second woman’s allegations of an affair also sprung up shortly before the 2016 election, after the “Access Hollywood” recording of Trump boasting about how women were easy to be seduced by a star of his magnitude became public.

In October or November 2015, prosecutors alleged a former Trump Tower doorman was looking to sell information about Trump fathering a child out of wedlock. Prosecutors allege that AMI negotiated and signed an agreement to pay the former doorman $30,000 to acquire exclusive rights to the story.

“The conduct that I just described and that which was charged by the grand jury is felony criminal conduct in New York state,” Bragg said. “True and accurate business records are important everywhere, to be sure. They are all the more important in Manhattan, the financial center of the world. That is why we have a history in the Manhattan DA’s office of vigorously enforcing white collar crime.”

Trump was expected to speak publicly regarding his arraignment Tuesday night after he returns to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla.

Trump, who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is the focus of two other criminal investigations, one by the Biden administration Justice Department regarding his involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Riot and his handling of classified documents. The other involves his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg claimed Tuesday former President Donald Trump conspired to illegally prevent damage to his 2016 presidential campaign through a series of hush-money payments.
alvin bragg, donald trump, indictment
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2023-07-04
Tuesday, 04 April 2023 06:07 PM
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