Democrats May Finally Get to Charge Donald Trump With…Something – The New York Times reported on Thursday that prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had told lawyers representing former President Donald Trump to prepare for charges.
Donald Trump and Charges: What We Know
The Times reported that prosecutors gave Donald Trump one last chance to testify next week before the grand jury that was convened to hear evidence in a case relating to payments allegedly made to adult film star Stormy Daniels by the former president.
Trump is said to have made the so-called “hush money” payments during his 2016 presidential campaign after Daniels made a series of claims about a relationship she had with him after his marriage to former First Lady Melania Trump.
William K. Rashbaum, Jonah E. Bromwich, and Ben Protess wrote for the Times that offering one last chance to testify is often a sign that an indictment is coming.
“In New York, potential defendants have the right to answer questions in the grand jury before they are indicted, but they rarely testify, and Mr. Trump is likely to decline the offer. His lawyers could also meet privately with the prosecutors in hopes of fending off criminal charges,” the report reads.
Trump is said to have made a payment of $130,000 to Daniels via his former personal attorney Michael Cohen just days before the 2016 presidential election.
While Donald Trump denies having an affair with Daniels, the payment is understood to have been part of a nondisclosure agreement between the pair.
What Are They Thinking?
The report comes after Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg declined to indict the former president following an investigation into business practices at the Trump Organization.
In the wake of several other high-profile investigations that lead nowhere, Bragg’s possible plans to charge Trump over alleged “hush money” payments could be the last shot for partisan Democrats to force Trump into a criminal court case and prevent him from running for office in 2024.
It’s not certain that Trump will in fact face charges, though this could be the closest he’s ever come to facing real criminal charges.
Even if Bragg does charge Donald Trump, however – whether he and his colleagues genuinely believe they have a chance of sending him to prison – there’s no stopping him from running for president.
Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend, Trump insisted that he would stay in the race even if he is criminally indicted.
Speaking to reporters before his speech, Trump said that he “wouldn’t even think” about leaving. He added that it would probably “enhance” his numbers, too.
Could the only witch hunt to potentially end in criminal charges be the one that pushes voters over the edge and compels Americans to once again turn their backs on ultra-partisan Democrats?
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.