by: Garret Carlton and Joseph Gillette
On March 30, The New York Grand Jury indicted former President Donald Trump after the release of charges by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. According to CBS News, Trump has been charged by a New York Grand Jury with 34 Counts of falsifying business records in an indictment that was unsealed on April 4.
“D.A. BRAGG JUST ILLEGALLY LEAKED THE 33 points of Indictment. There are no changes or surprises from those he leaked days ago directly out of the Grand Jury. No Crime by Trump. What a MESS. Bragg should resign, NOW!” Trump said on TruthSocial following the unsealing of the charges by the DA.
“As this office has done time and time again, we today uphold our solemn responsibility to ensure that everyone stands equal before the law. No amount of money and no amount of power changes that enduring principle,” Bragg said in a meeting after the unsealing of the charges against Trump. “These are felony crimes in New York. No matter who you are. We cannot normalize serious criminal conduct.”
According to the New York Times, the charges are related to reimbursements to Trump’s former fixer and former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, for a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign. He pleaded not guilty to the 34 felony criminal charges of falsifying business records in a court appearance on Apr. 4.
Many of the charges include 11 counts related to Cohen submitting phony invoices for legal fees, another 11 counts related to checks written by Trump using his funds to reimburse Cohen. The final 12 counts were related to accounting records made for the reimbursements in Trump’s books.
When Trump was arraigned after the charges were released, there were polarized reactions on both sides. While there were many positive reactions to Trump’s arrest, many politicians reserved their opinions on the matter.
“The preeminence of the rule of law is central to the integrity of our democracy.” tweeted House minority leader Hakeem Jefferies “He is innocent until proven guilty. I pray that he turns himself in peacefully and allows due process to run its course.”
Republicans had a different reaction to the indictment. “It is un-American,” says Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in his Mar. 30 tweet, “The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent.”
“While the arraignment was routine, the case is now poised to linger over Trump’s 2024 candidacy as he fights the charges both in court and in public,” reported CNN. As of right now, the next in-person hearing date for Trump’s case in New York is set for Dec. 4.