That grand jury, a secret panel, is investigating whether there is enough evidence to bring a criminal case against Trump for payments made shortly before the 2016 presidential election to silence Stormy Daniels, a porn actress who claims she maintained a sexual relationship with him. after that, the real estate market was a mess.
The latest events are the latest reminder of the various legal fronts that are open to Trump, who after November also sought the Republican candidate for the conservative presidential nomination in 2014.
This specific case is legally complex and warrants a prosecution, let alone a conviction. These are your keys.
The story of Daniel
In July 2006, Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels, the stage name of porn actress and director Stephanie Clifford, met when Trump attended a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. According to the version he gave to “InTouch” magazine in 2011, which was never published at the time, he invited her to dinner at his hotel and had sex, which he described as “kind of art”; and also as “two minutes minutes.” It had been less than four months since Melania Trump gave birth to Barron Trump.
After that first meeting, according to Daniel, they met again on other occasions and in other places, including Trump’s private bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel. That president has repeatedly denied that he had a sexual relationship with Daniel.
In the 2016 campaign
On October 8, 2016, the man in charge of the National Enquirer newspaper learned that Daniel had to provide his story to the media. So he and David Pecker, editor of the publication, a friend of Trump and who had offered privately in the summer, have already given the Republican candidate’s campaign an effort to suppress negative stories about him, contacting Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer. They in turn contact Daniel’s lawyer. And in the days that followed, Cohen agreed to give Daniel $130,000 to keep quiet.
Not immediately, and Daniel is going to tell the story with another publication. On October 26th, Cohen transferred money from the home equity of Straight Credit, a loan he later admitted to fraudulently obtaining to start the company, and from that company the money was sent to Daniel.
On November 1, a week before the election, The Wall Street Journal reports that the National Enquirer paid $150,000 to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who also claimed to have had a sexual relationship with Trump. In that chapter the name of Daniel is only mentioned in passing.
On January 12, 2018, almost a year after President Trump was inaugurated, “The Journal” reveals Daniel’s salary. Cohen initially states that the money came from his own pocket and had nothing to do with the Trump Organization or the campaign. In August of the same year, Cohen pleaded guilty to federal charges that included, among other things, the payments to Daniels and McDougal. There Cohen affirms that he brought them out “in coordination and under the direction”; of Trump and “with the main purpose of moving the elections”.
The indictment also stated that Trump reported on several monthly payments to Cohen, accepting false invoices listing those payments as allegedly legitimate expenses.
The case of New York
When Democrat Alvin Bragg was elected in 2021 to head the Manhattan district attorney’s office, he decided to drop the appearance before the grand jury that his predecessor, Cyrus Vance, had convened to investigate Trump’s business activities. Bragg, however, focused on the investigation of Daniel Stormy’s payments and in January of this year a grand jury was formed, before which witnesses were published and testified and before which Trump has already been called to testify.
It will be Bragg who must decide whether or not to impeach the former president. To do so, he relied on allegedly false documents that represented the false goods in which Cohen paid Daniels money. But that would not be anything other than a misdemeanor, but would be elevated to a type of crime if it were combined with the intention to commit or conceal another crime. It could be another charge of improper donation pay if Daniel is deemed to have been paid the benefit of his claim. This is an unusual combination of laws and can be challenged in court.
It is not certain that Bragg will decide whether to indict Trump, although the subpoena to testify before grand juries is usually given to prospective defendants (who traditionally refuse to testify). Moreover, it is not guaranteed that in the event of imputation the guilt of the former president can be proven. And even if he is convicted, he must be punished for the crime for a maximum of four years in prison and not necessarily be punished by prison.
Trumpet response and other cases
The president expressed his anger on Thursday via a message on his social media. He again denied that he had a relationship with Daniel and again spoke of a “political witch hunt”. and to denounce the alleged use of the Department of Justice as a political weapon, claiming it is trying to damage the president’s third career.
Trump is also facing other legal issues and is expected “very soon” because the prosecutor’s office in Fulton County, Georgia has decided to announce whether it will follow the recommendation of another grand jury there and look into the charges in the case of whether the former president or his circle tried to interfere in the 2020 presidential election. He is being investigated by the Department of Justice for the irregular handling of documents and for his role in the attack on the Capitol.
This same Friday, moreover, a judge gave the green light to a video in which he was heard boasting that he could “fuck” women as evidence against him in the case brought by Jean Carroll, the writer who kidnapped Trump. He asked him for infamy. Officials also allowed two other women who accused the former president of sexual assault to testify in the process.