U.S. President Donald Trump delivers an update on the so-called Operation Warp Speed program, the joint Defense Department and HHS initiative that has struck deals with several drugmakers in an effort to help speed up the search for effective treatments for the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in an address from the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 13, 2020.
Carlos Barria | Reuters
Former President Donald Trump has been hit with about 30 criminal charges related to alleged document fraud in the indictment issued against him by a New York grand jury, NBC reported Friday.
The indictment, which was approved Thursday, remains sealed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Trump, who is the leading contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is scheduled to be arraigned in Manhattan court on Tuesday.
At least part, if not all, of the indictment is understood to be related to Trump’s reimbursement of his then-lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen for a $130,000 hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.
The Trump Organization recorded payments that Trump made to Cohen for that purpose as “legal expenses.”
It is a misdemeanor under New York law to misclassify business expenses. That can become a felony if done to cover up another crime.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, was paid to keep silent about her claim that she had sex with Trump in 2006. He denies her account.
Trump is the first U.S. president, former or otherwise, to be charged in a criminal case.
A Quinnipiac University poll released this week found that a majority of Americans believe that Trump should be disqualified from running for the White House if he is charged with a crime.
However, there is no law against Trump seeking the presidency while facing charges.