Everything you need to know about the historic indictment against the former US President
Donald Trump faces criminal charges for hush money payments to an adult film star ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
It comes after a grand jury voted to indict the former US president after investigating a £100,000 ($130,000) payout to Stormy Daniels to buy her silence over an alleged affair.
The 76-year-old said he was innocent and claimed he was the victim of a political “witch hunt” against him.
Why was Trump charged, who is Stormy Daniels and could the politician be jailed? MailOnline has everything you need to know about the charges below.
Your questions about Donald Trump answered
Why was Trump impeached?
An indictment is a formal written charge that someone has committed a crime, and usually includes felony charges punishable by more than a year in prison.
Donald Trump has been indicted by a New York City grand jury for falsifying business records relating to payments he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to prevent her from exposing an alleged affair.
Former porn star Stormy Daniels claims she had an adulterous affair with the former president and was paid $130,000 to keep quiet.
What allegations are made against him?
What is happening is historic as Trump will become the first former US President to be prosecuted.
He is reportedly facing more than 30 business fraud-related cases, sources told CNN.
The New York Times reports that there are more than two dozen charges against the Republic 2024 hopeful.
However, it is not yet known what details Trump is accused of as they have not yet been released.
Has Trump been arrested?
After a grand jury was convened to examine the evidence in the hush money investigation, Trump took to social media on March 18 to announce he faces an arrest.
He is now waiting at his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, where Trump fans have gathered outside to support him and wave US flags.
If he is charged, Trump’s lawyers have suggested the arrest would follow standard procedure, including his trip to New York to appear at a courthouse, a formal booking, and fingerprinting and mugshot.
Trump supporters have gathered in front of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida
What happens next?
Trump vehemently denies the affair, saying the charges amount to “political persecution and election interference.”
The former US President is expected to appear in court in New York next Tuesday to face the charges and enter a plea.
His lawyer, Susan Necheles, told AFP: “We expect charges to be filed on Tuesday,” but did not go into further detail.
Could Trump be jailed?
If convicted, Trump faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison.
However, some legal experts have said a fine is the most likely outcome and have said time in jail is highly unlikely.
Is it illegal to pay hush money?
While it’s not illegal to pay hush money, the former president reportedly booked it as a business expense, and falsifying business records is illegal in New York.
Prosecutors say the payment is a misdemeanor because when Trump reimbursed his former attorney, Michael Cohen, who made the payment, it was recorded as legal fees – which they say amounts to falsifying business records.
Who is Stormy Daniels?
Stormy Daniels, 44, real name Stephanie Gregory Clifford, is an adult film star who was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
She began working in strip clubs during high school to support herself financially, eventually working as a porn actress under the pseudonym Stormy Daniels.
After meeting Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, California, in 2006, she claimed he invited her to dinner and they later had sex in his hotel room, despite being married to Melania Trump.
Stormy Daniels, 44, (pictured) is the adult film star at the center of the charges against Donald Trump
She also claimed he offered her a role on his then-reality show The Apprentice.
But when Trump was running for office in 2016, he got wind that Daniels was brokering a deal to go on TV to discuss their alleged affair and received hush money from Trump’s then-attorney, Michael Cohen.
Trump has denied having sex with Daniels and said the money had nothing to do with the election he won.
Today she tweeted: “Thank you everyone for your support and love! I have so many messages I can’t reply…don’t want to spill my champagne either #Teamstormy merch/autograph orders are pouring in too! Thank you for that too, but allow a few extra days for shipping.’
Who is Michael Cohen?
Michael Cohen served as Trump’s attorney and firm before becoming president.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, he was a prominent spokesman and a staunch defender of his boss.
After Cohen admitted in December 2018 that he had made payments to Daniels over her alleged affair with Trump, he was sentenced to three years in prison for various crimes, including tax evasion, campaign finance violations and lying to the US Congress.
Trump on January 6, 2021 – the day his supporters stormed the US Capitol
Can Trump still run for president?
Trump hopes to be the Republican nominee for the 2024 election after announcing his aspirations to seek re-election last year.
Technically, he could still run for president despite facing criminal charges.
There is nothing in US law that would prevent a candidate found guilty of a felony from running for and serving as president, even from prison.
Politically, however, it would roil his campaign and discourage voters from ticking his box.
But it could also go the other way and make some Republicans rally around their champion.
It would certainly prove divisive and serve to deepen views on the controversial figure.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11923781/Everything-need-know-historic-indictment-against-ex-President.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Everything you need to know about the historic indictment against the former US President