Trump May Soon Face Indictment After Reportedly Being Asked to Testify Before Manhattan Court

Former President Donald Trump listens to speakers at the East Palestine Fire Department as he visits the area in the aftermath of the Norfolk Southern train derailment Feb. 3 in East Palestine, Ohio, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023.InternationalIndiaAfricaIf Trump is indicted, it would be the first time in US history that a former president has been charged in a criminal case. However, the case will be difficult for prosecutors to prove, even if Trump is indicted.The Manhattan District Attorney’s office offered former President Donald Trump a chance to testify in front of a grand jury that has been hearing evidence about Trump’s role in hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016.The offer to testify was first reported by the New York Times, which cited four unnamed sources familiar with the case.Typically, offers to testify in front of a grand jury are only offered to potential defendants if an indictment is imminent. In New York, allowing potential defendants to testify before their indictment is required by law, but they rarely take the offer and Trump is not expected to go in front of the grand jury until and if he is forced to.The five-year investigation revolves around payments former Trump fixer Michael Cohen made to Daniels to keep her quiet about an affair she alleges she had with the former president before he entered the Oval Office. Cohen admitted to sending $130,000 to Daniels – he says at the behest of Trump – and was later reimbursed by Trump while he was in office.The case depends on untested legal theory and relies on laws typically not associated with each other, and would likely result in a low-level felony at worst. Prison time is a possibility, but would not be a requirement for the crimes Trump is potentially facing.Cohen was convicted of eight counts in 2018, including campaign finance violations, tax fraud and bank fraud. He was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay fines and restitution.AmericasTrump’s Former ‘Fixer’ Michael Cohen Says He’d Fear for His Safety With 45 Back in Office12 October 2022, 18:51 GMTIn that case, prosecutors argued Trump’s company “falsely accounted” the monthly reimbursement payments to Cohen as legal expenses and noted that the company cited a retainer agreement between the company and Cohen. However, Cohen, who is a lawyer but was not working as an attorney for Trump at the time, had no retainer agreement with the Trump organization and the payments were not for any legal services provided by Cohen.In New York, falsifying business records can result in a misdemeanor charge, but for it to result in a felony charge, prosecutors must show the fraud included an intention to commit or conceal a second crime.That half of the case will depend on election laws in New York. Prosecutors are expected to argue that because the payments to Daniels benefitted the Trump campaign by ensuring her silence, it can be construed as an illegal campaign contribution by Cohen.Such a connection has not been argued in court before and could result in a legal precedent being set. It could also lead to a judge throwing the case out or lowering the charge to a misdemeanor.While, if indicted, this case will be Trump’s first time being criminally charged, he could face other charges stemming from other cases. In Georgia, the Fulton County district attorney is investigating Trump’s alleged role in attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in that state. A special counsel has also been appointed by US Attorney General Merrick Garland to look into Trump’s alleged attempts to overturn the election on a federal level and his handling of classified documents after leaving office.Georgia Prosecutors Name 16 Fake Trump Electors as Targets in Probe – Filing20 July 2022, 03:06 GMTTrump has been at the center or periphery of several criminal cases but has yet to be charged with a crime. In a New York civil case last year involving alleged real estate fraud, Trump refused to answer questions during his daylong deposition, invoking the Fifth Amendment over 400 times.The Fifth Amendment does not apply to cases in front of a grand jury, removing that option from Trump’s arsenal. He will either have to answer questions or risk being held in contempt of court.Responding to the request, a Trump spokesperson decried the potential indictment. “The Manhattan District Attorney’s threat to indict President Trump is simply insane,” the spokesman told The Times. “It’s an embarrassment to the Democrat prosecutors, and it’s an embarrassment to New York City.”The case could have implications for the 2024 presidential election. Trump has declared his intention to run in 2024 and is considered a frontrunner. However, it should be noted that even a felony charge would not legally prevent Trump from running for a second term in the White House.


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