Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s private plane known as Trump Force One is parked on the tarmac at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida March 31, 2023. –
Giorgio Viera | AFP | Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump left his home in Florida on Monday and headed to a plane that will take him to New York’s LaGuardia Airport to face criminal charges related to a 2016 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Trump is scheduled to be indicted Tuesday in the Manhattan Supreme Court, where a grand jury indicted him on Thursday.
“On Tuesday morning, believe it or not, I’m going to the courthouse,” he wrote in a Truth Social post from his home in Palm Beach, Fla., late Sunday night.
“America shouldn’t be like this!” added Trump.
Trump exited Mar-a-Lago at approximately 12:20 p.m. ET in a motorcade of SUVs.
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Trump has announced he will deliver a speech on his crime case Tuesday night after returning to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
A small group of Trump supporters gathered outside the club Monday morning to await his departure.
In Manhattan, the New York City Police Department and other law enforcement agencies continued preparations for Trump’s arrival and possible protests.
Former US President Donald Trump speaks in this screenshot from a social media video released April 2, 2023, after he was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury following an investigation into hush-hush payments to porn star Stormy Daniels had been.
social media site | Via Reuters
As of Sunday afternoon, news camera crews had already posted posts in front of Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and in front of the courthouse, which is less than four miles due south of Trump’s residence.
Sources have told NBC News that Trump faces about 30 counts of document fraud in the indictment. It came after the grand jury had since January heard multiple witnesses testifying about a $130,000 payment Trump’s then-attorney and fixer Michael Cohen made to Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election.
The indictment has not been unsealed, so it is not known if these charges cover the entire case.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office is prosecuting Trump, has made no public statement about the charges other than confirming that the charges have been filed.
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A court document dated March 30, 2023 shows the order authorizing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to publicly announce that former US President Donald Trump has been indicted following an investigation into hush-hush payments involving porn star Stormy Daniels was.
Manhattan District Court
Cohen’s payment to Daniels was intended to keep her from speaking to the media about her claims that she once had sex with Trump in 2006, months after his wife Melania gave birth to their son Barron.
Trump denies having sex with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. He also denies any criminal wrongdoing.
But he compensated Cohen with multiple payments that totaled well in excess of the $130,000. The additional amount Trump gave Cohen was intended to cover at least part of the income taxes the attorney would have owed to get the money from him.
The reimbursement was recorded as legal expenses in the Trump Organization’s business records.
Under New York law, misclassifying the nature of business expenses in official records is a misdemeanor. But it can be charged as a crime if the false statement was made to cover up or conceal another crime.
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal criminal charges involving a campaign finance violation related to the payment to Daniels. He admitted Trump ordered the payment to prevent Daniels from making her claim public, which could potentially have hurt his chances of winning the election.
Trump’s campaign for the 2024 presidential election has used the renewed attention to rake in money from the former president’s supporters. It has raised more than $5 million since Trump was impeached, NBC News reported, confirming an earlier report by Axios.
Former US President Donald Trump gestures from his motorcade as he exits his Trump International Golf Club after being indicted by a Manhattan grand jury following an investigation into hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA , on 1st 2023.
Ricardo Arduengo | Reuters
As Trump attempts to secure the GOP presidential nomination for a third time, his legal risks extend beyond the hush money case. He faces three more criminal investigations.
One from an Atlanta prosecutor focuses on efforts by himself and his allies to get Georgia officials to reverse his 2020 election loss to that state’s President Joe Biden.
The Justice Department is investigating Trump over his attempt to reverse Biden’s victory in the national election, including by pressuring his Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to review Electoral College results during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021 to confirm. This investigation also examines whether Trump committed crimes related to the riot by a mob of his supporters who marched into the Capitol that day.
The DOJ is separately investigating Trump for possible crimes while he was storing hundreds of government documents in Mar-a-Lago, some of which were top secret, after he left the White House. It is also being investigated whether he obstructed justice by refusing to return the documents when the authorities requested them.
The Washington Post reported Sunday that “Federal investigators have gathered new and significant evidence” that after Trump’s advisers received a subpoena last May demanding the return of documents bearing classified markings, Trump “tampered with the contents of some boxes went through his home with documents, apparently out of a desire to keep certain things in his possession.”
Trump has denied committing any crimes related to any of the investigations, which he says are motivated by a desire to harm him politically.