Charges against Trump ‘bumped up’ – media
Former US President Donald Trump is facing a total of 34 criminal charges over his alleged role in paying hush money to an adult film actress, Yahoo News reported on Tuesday.
According to a source familiar with the matter cited by the outlet, the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is leading prosecution, has “bumped up all the charges to Class E felonies,” with the indictment itself revolving around potential falsification of business records.
While in New York state, these activities can be regarded as misdemeanors, the charges were elevated to potential felonies, as the prosecutors believe that Trump could have “intended to conceal another underlying crime,” the Yahoo source added.
As a result, the ex-president could face a prison term of up to four years, though this is considered “extremely unlikely,” the report says. “No one gets jail time for that as a first offender,” a New York law enforcement official told the outlet.
Commenting on the reported nature of the charges, Trump took to TruthSocial, claiming that Bragg “just illegally leaked the various points, and complete information, on the pathetic Indictment.” The leak means that the attorney “must be immediately indicted,” he added.
The charges against Trump will be formally unsealed when he is arraigned on Tuesday afternoon. Regarding the procedure, the Yahoo source said that the ex-president – who is still protected by the US Secret Service – would not be put in handcuffs or have to pose for a mugshot.
New York Judge Juan Merchan said that while the arraignment of Trump – the first former or current US president in history to be indicted – has “unparalleled public interest,” there would be no broadcast of the procedure. Only a handful of photographers will be allowed to take pictures before the proceedings begin, he added.
Trump was indicted by a grand jury last week over an alleged $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to stop her from going public about an affair with him. He has denied the accusations and said he never had any sexual involvement with the actress.