Trump’s indictment: Read it for yourself

Former President Donald Trump was charged by the Manhattan District Attorney on Tuesday in a 34-count felony indictment.

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New York Grand Jury Votes To Indict Former President Trump

Flanked by attorneys, former U.S. President Donald Trump appears in the courtroom for his arraignment proceeding at Manhattan Criminal Court on April 4, 2023, in New York City. Trump was arraigned during his first court appearance today following an indictment by a grand jury that heard evidence about money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election. With the indictment, Trump becomes the first former U.S. president in history to be charged with a criminal offense.

Photo by Seth Wenig-Pool/Getty Images

WASHINGTON - Former President Donald Trump was charged by the Manhattan District Attorney on Tuesday in a 34-count felony indictment. Read the indictment here or see below. Trump pled not guilty to the charges.

Here’s what the press release issued by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Jr. said in charging, Trump, 76, with violating New York law by “falsifying New York business records in order to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election.”

That’s a reference to hush money payments paid to porn star Stormy Daniels in order to buy her silence during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

According to the press release, :During the election, Trump “and others employed a “catch and kill” scheme to identify, purchase, and bury negative information about him and boost his electoral prospects. TRUMP then went to great lengths to hide this conduct, causing dozens of false entries in business records to conceal criminal activity, including attempts to violate state and federal election laws.

“TRUMP is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with 34 counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree.

“The People of the State of New York allege that Donald J. Trump repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal crimes that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election,” said District Attorney Bragg. “Manhattan is home to the country’s most significant business market. We cannot allow New York businesses to manipulate their records to cover up criminal conduct. As the Statement of Facts describes, the trail of money and lies exposes a pattern that, the People allege, violates one of New York’s basic and fundamental business laws. As this office has done time and time again, we today uphold our solemn responsibility to ensure that everyone stands equal before the law.”

More from the press release....

“According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, from August 2015 to December 2017, TRUMP orchestrated his “catch and kill” scheme through a series of payments that he then concealed through months of false business entries.

“In one instance, American Media Inc. (“AMI”), paid $30,000 to a former Trump Tower doorman, who claimed to have a story about a child TRUMP had out of wedlock.

“In a second instance, AMI paid $150,000 to a woman who alleged she had a sexual relationship with TRUMP. When TRUMP explicitly directed a lawyer who then worked for the Trump Organization as TRUMP’s Special Counsel (“Special Counsel”) to reimburse AMI in cash, the Special Counsel indicated to TRUMP that the payment should be made via a shell company and not by cash. AMI ultimately declined to accept reimbursement after consulting their counsel. AMI, which later admitted its conduct was unlawful in an agreement with federal prosecutors, made false entries in its business records concerning the true purpose of the $150,000 payment.

“In a third instance – 12 days before the presidential general election – the Special Counsel wired $130,000 to an attorney for an adult film actress. The Special Counsel, who has since pleaded guilty and served time in prison for making the illegal campaign contribution, made the payment through a shell corporation funded through a bank in Manhattan.

“After winning the election, TRUMP reimbursed the Special Counsel through a series of monthly checks, first from the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust – created in New York to hold the Trump Organization’s assets during TRUMP’s presidency – and later from TRUMP’s bank account. In total, 11 checks were issued for a phony purpose. Nine of those checks were signed by TRUMP. Each check was processed by the Trump Organization and illegally disguised as a payment for legal services rendered pursuant to a non-existent retainer agreement. In total, 34 false entries were made in New York business records to conceal the initial covert $130,000 payment. Further, participants in the scheme took steps that mischaracterized, for tax purposes, the true nature of the reimbursements.”

BELOW IS THE STATEMENT OF FACTS FROM THE MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY

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