Trump reemerges in the courtroom with a felony indictment


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TO THE COURTROOM. Former U.S. president Donald Trump has been charged with 34 felony counts, primarily regarding his affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Donald Trump, the first former U.S. president to be charged with a crime, has 34 felony counts against him. He was indicted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg after his office discovered Trump had paid $130,000 in hush money to an adult film star he had an intimate relationship with. As of early April, he has pleaded not guilty to every charge.

The year-long investigation started in 2022 with rumors of Trump misusing campaign money and other funds. Bragg is facing off against Trump’s lawyers to pin him for varying degrees of falsifying business records.

Junior Eli Peres said, “I think it was surprising that [the campaign money] is what landed him in court,” commenting on other rumors of mishandling funds.

Trump and adult film star Stormy Daniels first met in 2006 and had sexual relations shortly after. They kept in touch for the next few years. In 2016, former lawyer Michael Cohen negotiated the hush money deal with Daniels for Trump months after he was elected president. Cohen wired the $130,000 to Daniels’ lawyer at the time, Keith Davidson. For the next year, Trump and Daniels, as well as their lawyers, went back and forth with more money to finalize the deal of keeping Daniels quiet about the affair.

Aaron Shulow, lawyer and history teacher said, “The felonies that Mr. Trump is charged with are actually quite commonly prosecuted under New York criminal law and are not unique as some commentary seems to suggest. What is unique is that for the first time, an ex-president has been indicted, but if we have the rule of law in this country, then all lawbreakers should be held responsible.”

What is unique is that for the first time, an ex-president has been indicted, but if we have the rule of law in this country, then all lawbreakers should be held responsible.

— Aaron Shulow

In 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported on the hush money coverup, jump-starting other articles about the topic. Cohen denies Trump having affairs and the illegitimate process of the payment. He said, “The payment to Ms. Daniels was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.” A year later, in 2019, Cohen was sent to prison on unrelated tax fraud charges.

In 2022 and early 2023, the pressure on the investigation into Trump’s taxes increased. Trump was brought into court when the trial started in mid-January. On Dec. 6, 2022, the New York Jury found Trump guilty on all charges. Months later people criticize Bragg for not having an in-depth case, but it continues on with limited roadblocks. On Apr. 4, Trump sat in a Manhattan courthouse for a court meeting about the charges. Members of Trump’s office and various lawyers that have worked for him testified for multiple hours. A dismissal was requested by Trump, but if it fails, the case will proceed.