Posted on: March 31, 2023, 09:54h.
Last updated on: March 31, 2023, 10:10h.
Former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a grand jury in Manhattan.
The indictment brought against the 45th president of the United States remains sealed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. The exact nature of the charge(s) therefore remains unclear, but the case relates to Trump’s $130K payment to former porn actress Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about their years-old alleged extramarital affairs during the billionaire’s 2016 presidential bid.
The grand jury also heard testimony about another payment Trump allegedly made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Bragg left his Manhattan office Thursday night without commenting to the media outside the Centre Street Criminal Courthouse. Trump is reportedly cooperating, with his personal defense team, lawyers Susan Necheles and Joseph Tacopina, who told reporters an arrangement is being made for their client to turn himself over to authorities in New York City as early as Tuesday, April 4.
Political observers believe the indictment could hurt Trump’s 2024 chances. The former president, who has denied any wrongdoing in relation to the Daniels hush money, says the Manhattan D.A.’s actions are a political witch hunt and an effort by Democratic leaders to silence their critics and thwart campaigns to oust them from office.
Trump Odds Lengthen
The former president says the charges are without merit. Trump contends he never had an affair with Daniels and that any money directed to her or McDougal to stay out of the media was carried out legally.
These thugs and radical left monsters have just indicted the 45th president of the United States of America, and the leading Republican candidate, by far, for the 2024 nomination for president,” Trump said on the social media platform Truth Social. “This is an attack on our country the likes of which have never been seen before.”
In a formal press release, Trump said that the charges are “political persecution” and “election interference.”
The former president facing criminal charges and possible prison time resulted in some political bettors fleeing their wagering positions for Trump’s chances of winning the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination. Political bettors on PredictIt now give Trump a 44% chance of securing the Republican ticket next year, down 5% over the past 24 hours.
Trump still remains the GOP betting front-runner over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis currently has a 38% chance of challenging the Democratic presidential ticket.
The indictment actually provided some rare unity between Trump and DeSantis, as the Florida governor panned the indictment.
The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head.
It is un-American.
The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is…
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 30, 2023
As for the 2024 presidential election, President Joe Biden remains the betting front-runner with a 41% chance of securing another four years in the White House. Trump and DeSantis are both at 28%.
Trump’s opponents have long waited for Trump to be charged with some sort of crime.
Mr. Trump is subject to the same laws as every American. He will be able to avail himself of the legal system and a jury, not politics, to determine his fate according to the facts and the law,” said US Senate Major Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York).
“The grand jury has acted upon the facts and the law,” added former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California). “No one is above the law, and everyone has the right to a trial to prove innocence.”
The indictment of a former president is unprecedented.
But so too is the unlawful conduct in which Trump has been engaged.
A nation of laws must hold the rich and powerful accountable, even when they hold high office.
Especially when they do.
To do otherwise is not democracy.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 30, 2023
Trump has his supporters, too, with one being Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy.
“Anybody who thinks going after Trump for paying a porn star to keep her mouth shut about an old affair is a good use of time or taxpayer dollars is a political pawn,” Portnoy opined.