… we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender …Spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg as the world learned of a criminal indictment against the former U.S. President – the first time in U.S. history a former president faces criminal charges.
Why It Matters: While we do not have the official alleged offense(s) at this time, this marks the first time in U.S. history a former U.S. president (and current presidential candidate) faces criminal charges.
Pres. Trump's lawyers: "He did not commit any crime. We will vigorously fight this political prosecution in Court.”
What's At Stake: Without the charges, we do not know what President Trump precisely faces (i.e. prison time, fines etc). However, this does not prevent Pres. Trump from running for President.
Here's the basics:
Who: President Trump
What: Facing criminal charges (we do not have the exact language as the indictment is under seal). These charges reportedly relate to payments made to Stephanie Clifford (aka porn star Stormy Daniels) in exchange for her silence over an alleged affair she says she had with Pres. Trump in 2006.
When: The payment was made in 2016 before Pres. Trump's election to "avoid a scandal ahead of the 2016 U.S. election." (Reuters provides a good guide HERE).
Why: The charges do not apparently relate to whether the payment was made (a common misconception in this story) but HOW the payment was documented or recorded by President Trump/his businesses.
Where: The charge is being made by Manhattan's District Attorney. This is a state charge.
When: We believe an official arraignment (formal charge) will take place in the coming days, with Pres. Trump likely traveling to NYC to face these charges officially in person. He would be expected to be photographed (mug shot) and fingerprinted. Then both sides will prepare for trial.
How: So much of the path ahead remains uncertain since we've never seen anything like this before.
Something To Consider (from The Wall Street Journal):
"The case brought by Mr. Bragg, a Democrat, is far from a sure bet. Mr. Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance Jr., and federal prosecutors each passed on charging Mr. Trump in a stand-alone case related to the hush money. If the case goes to trial, a conviction would almost certainly require a jury to credit the testimony of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who has faced his own legal troubles and pleaded guilty to an array of federal felonies in 2018. Among them was a campaign-finance offense for the porn-star payment, as well as charges of lying to a bank and to Congress."
by Jenna Lee,