Donald Trump to be indicted for alleged money laundering

Former President Trump is set to go on trial in New York on Tuesday, where new details are expected about the charges he faces in the alleged 2016 “hush money scheme” and potentially other matters.

Trump left Florida for New York on Monday with his Secret Service detail and political and legal teams, including newly hired Solicitor General Todd Blanche, a top white-collar criminal defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor. Supporters and protesters awaited the former president behind steel barricades when he arrived at Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan.

Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury last week, shortly before the 2016 election, after his former lawyer, Michael D. Due to an investigation into Cohen’s $130,000 payment to adult film actor Stormy Daniels. The money was allegedly paid to keep Daniels from publicly saying she had an affair with Trump.

The former president has been accused of later concealing the compensation and subsequent compensation to Cohen by channeling the payments through his business and registering them as legal services. Cohen did not do any legal work for Trump while he was in the White House.

Despite the focus on Daniels, the allegations could extend to the Trump Organization and possibly include a separate payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougall.

Cohen, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to crimes related to the alleged kickbacks to Daniels and spent three years in prison, is expected to be a key witness if the case goes to trial. His attorney, Lani Davis, told CNN on Sunday that Cohen provided Manhattan prosecutors with “substantial documentation” of payments made to Daniels and McDougal to support his testimony.

Trump is expected to undergo the same process as any other defendant on Tuesday, which could include a mug shot and fingerprints, shortly before his arraignment at around 2:15 p.m. Eastern. No other court proceedings will be allowed on the same floor where Trump will appear before Judge Juan Mercan, and the courtroom is not open to the public. Trump will most likely be released without bail.

The former president said he plans to return to Florida after the trial and is expected to make a speech Tuesday night at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach.

Trump has a history of unreasonably criticizing judges and district attorneys when he is in legal trouble. On his Truth Social platform, he called Manhattan Dist. Atty. Alvin Bragg, who is black, is “vivid” and “racist” and also attacked Merchan, who oversaw a separate case involving the Trump Organization.

It is unclear whether his legal team will be able to persuade Trump to avoid such rhetoric during his speech at Mar-a-Lago. On Monday night, Trump took another swipe at Bragg on Twitter, accusing him of leaking information from the indictment that has yet to be released.

“This means he MUST BE INDICTED IMMEDIATELY. Now, if he really wants to clear his reputation, he will do the honorable thing and as the District Attorney, he will INDEPENDENCE HIMSELF,” Trump wrote.

Last month, Trump warned of “possible death and destruction” if he is indicted, and law enforcement agencies in New York and across the country are on high alert. President Biden told reporters Monday that he is confident police can handle any unrest.

Trump has announced he will run for president in 2024, and his Republican allies have tried to portray the Bragg investigation as a politically motivated attempt to interfere in the election. The investigation was launched in 2018, but was repeatedly put on the back burner by other prosecutors.

The former president also faces separate federal investigations into the 2020 election meddling by his supporters and the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, as well as his involvement in the handling of classified documents after leaving office. Special Counsel Jack Smith, appointed in November by U.S. Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland has impaneled grand juries to hear witnesses in two federal investigations, including details of Trump’s Secret Service.

Trump also faces possible charges of meddling in state-level elections in Georgia. Fulton County District. Atty. Fannie Willis weighs in on potential charges related to Trump’s attempts to sway the Georgia vote after the 2020 election.

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