Trump faces about 30 counts in the New York Grand Jury indictment

    Former President Donald Trump faces about 30 document fraud charges in New York City related to hush money he allegedly paid to cover up matters, two sources familiar with the case told NBC News after he was indicted Thursday.

    The exact charges are unknown, as the charges will remain secret until Trump — who is campaigning to reclaim the presidency in 2024 — is expected to appear in court on Tuesday for his charges, though Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg is expected to drop them sooner. can reveal.

    The case is just one of at least three criminal investigations into Trump, who also earned the ignoble distinction of being the only U.S. president in history to be impeached twice during his single term in office.

    Image: Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg leaves his New York office on March 30, 2023.
    Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will leave his New York office on Thursday.Ed Jones/AFP – Getty Images

    “Although Alvin Bragg is the first prosecutor in our country’s history to indict a former president, he probably won’t be the last,” said Dave Aronberg, the prosecutor in Palm Beach County, Florida, where Trump lives. Friday.

    Trump also faces both federal and state investigations into his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, which are gaining momentum. The federal special prosecutor is also investigating Trump’s role in hundreds of secretly marked documents found at his Florida home and private club.

    The New York City case centers on more than a quarter of a million dollars paid prior to the 2016 election to two women, including adult film star Stormy Daniels, to keep quiet about affairs he allegedly had with them, prosecutors said. are expected to say Trump tried to hide illegally.

    The large number of charges likely stems from the fact that prosecutors file separate charges for each payment in question.

    Trump has denied the affair but acknowledged the payments.

    Two sources familiar with the work of the Manhattan Grand Jury say prosecutors also questioned witnesses about an earlier alleged hush money payment to former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal.

    In 2018, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws and admitted paying hush money of $130,000 and $150,000 to two women “at the direction of a candidate for federal office” — a clear reference to Trump, although he was unnamed – “for the purpose of influencing the [2016] election,” court documents said.

    The amounts match the amount paid to Daniels and McDougal.

    McDougal had said she had a months-long affair with Trump not long after he married Melania Trump, which Trump has denied. She was paid through the parent company of the National Enquirer, a Trump-aligned tabloid that bought the exclusive rights to her story, which it never published, in a “catch-and-kill” operation to protect Trump.

    Cohen is now a key government witness. Prosecutors are expected to allege that Trump falsified business records to cover up payments to Daniels and McDougal, which are believed to have amounted to illegal campaign spending.

    Prosecutors are expected to charge Trump with falsifying corporate records, a crime that upgrades from a misdemeanor to a misdemeanor when the false records are used to cover up another crime, in this case campaign finance violations.

    Trump has said the payments were legal fees and that he did nothing wrong, claiming the prosecution is a political witch hunt.

    “The judge who ‘assigned’ my Witch-Hunting case, a ‘case’ NEVER BEFORE REACHED HATE ME,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform on Friday.

    Trump attorney Joe Tacopina said in an interview on NBC’s “TODAY” show Friday that there is “zero chance” the former president will accept a plea deal, insisting Trump expects to be testified before or at trial.

    “President Trump will not enter a plea in this matter. It’s not going to happen,” Tacopina said. ‘There is no crime. I don’t know if it will make it to court because we have significant legal challenges.”

    Security around the lower Manhattan courthouse is tight and the NYPD told its entire uniformed police force to prepare for deployment Friday in the event of unrest as some Trump supporters called for protests.

    “There are no credible threats to the city at this time,” said city police commissioner Keechant Sewell, adding that “the NYPD always remains ready to respond.”

    Republicans — including those who hope to defeat Trump in 2024 — rallied behind the former president, pledging to investigate the Manhattan DA and protest a charge they say is politically motivated.

    As Trump and his allies claim he’s being singled out for charges rarely brought by prosecutors, experts take note of the Manhattan DA regularly brings such cases.

    Still, many legal experts have questioned whether felony charges in Trump’s case would stand, and the Manhattan district attorney’s office previously decided not to indict Trump for that reason. Bragg may have new evidence to bolster the case.

    CORRECTION (March 31, 2021, 12:00 PM ET): An earlier version of this article misspelled Trump’s lawyer’s name twice. He’s Joe Tacopina, not Tacopino or Tacopinas.

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