Prosecutors likely to signal criminal charges for Trump

Prosecutors for Mr. Bragg have not yet completed the grand jury presentation and he could still choose not to indict.

Mr Trump has previously said prosecutors are involved in a “witch hunt” against him that began before he became president and has labeled Mr Bragg, a Democrat who is black, a politically motivated “racist”.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office declined to comment.

Even if Mr. Trump is indicted, convicting him or sending him to jail will be a challenge. The case against the former President hinges on an untested and therefore risky legal theory involving a complex interplay of laws, all of which amount to a low-level crime. If Mr. Trump were finally convicted, he would face a maximum sentence of four years, although jail time would not be mandatory.

Mr Trump’s lawyers will also be sure to attack Mr Cohen, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal charges related to hush money.

The $130,000 payout came during the final phase of the 2016 presidential campaign when Ms Daniels’ representatives contacted the National Enquirer to offer her exclusive rights to her story about an affair with Mr Trump. David Pecker, the tabloid’s editor and a long-time ally of Mr. Trump, had agreed to keep an eye out for potentially harmful stories about him during the 2016 campaign, even agreeing at one point to cover the story of another woman’s affair with Mr. Trump and buy never publish, a practice known as “catch and kill.”

But Mr. Pecker didn’t bite into Ms. Daniels’ story. Instead, he and the tabloid’s editor-in-chief Dylan Howard helped broker a separate deal between Mr. Cohen and Ms. Daniels’ attorney. Mr. Trump later reimbursed Mr. Cohen through monthly checks.

In the federal case against Mr. Cohen, prosecutors said that Mr. Trump’s company “misrecognized the monthly payments as legal expenses” and that the company’s records cited an advance payment agreement with Mr. Cohen. Although Mr. Cohen was an attorney and became Mr. Trump’s personal attorney after taking office, there was no such advance agreement and the reimbursement was unrelated to the legal services provided by Mr. Cohen.


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