CV NEWS FEED // Former President Donald Trump was arraigned in a New York court Tuesday, charged with 34 felony counts for allegedly misreporting financial information.
Trump surrendered himself to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office in the early afternoon, arriving in a large motorcade of vehicles. The charges he faces relate to alleged settlement funds provided to pornographic performer Stormy Daniels, who claimed Trump had an extramarital affair with her.
Daniels had previously brought a defamation suit against Trump over their conflicting claims. Her case failed and she was court-ordered to pay a sum to Trump’s team.
Bragg is accusing Trump of “not only of falsifying business records but of doing so with the explicit intent of covering up at least three other categories of crimes,” Axios reported:
Those crimes, Bragg revealed at a press conference after Trump’s historic arraignment, including violating New York state election law; making or causing additional false statements, including to tax authorities; and exceeding the cap on federal campaign contributions.
…One of those potential crimes — violating federal campaign finance laws — is not in Bragg’s power to prosecute as a district attorney.
Axios described Bragg’s strategy as an “unusual” one, which “could pose a significant challenge — and may backfire in spectacular fashion if Trump is acquitted or the judge dismisses the case before it’s even brought to trial.”
“I’m not going to go into our deliberative process on what was brought. The charges that were brought were the ones that were brought. The evidence and the law is the basis for those decisions,” Bragg said on Tuesday.
While supporters of Trump have focused on the accusation of Trump’s alleged payment to Stormy Daniels, Bragg framed the case as much larger and graver.
Again from Axios:
“It’s not just about one payment,” Bragg said in a press conference after Trump’s arraignment, in which he stressed that accurate business records are especially important to Manhattan as the “financial center of the world.”
“These are felony crimes in New York state, no matter who you are. We cannot and will not normalize serious criminal conduct.”
“The 34 felony counts that Trump is facing are Class E felonies, which are the lowest level felonies in the state and carry up to 4 years in prison per charge,” The Daily Wire reported. New York law enforcement officials reportedly “indicated that ‘no one gets jail time for that as a first offender.’”
Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges at his arraignment, and wrote defiantly against the case ahead of time on his social media platform, Truth Social. “District Attorney Bragg just illegally LEAKED the various points, and complete information, on the pathetic Indictment against me,” the former president wrote:
I know the reporter and so, unfortunately, does he. This means that he MUST BE IMMEDIATELY INDICTED. Now, if he wants to really clean up his reputation, he will do the honorable thing and, as District Attorney, INDICT HIMSELF. He will go down in Judicial history, and his Trump Hating wife will be, I am sure, very proud of him!
In a separate statement, Trump also wrote: “Bragg should resign, NOW!”
Many Republican leaders sounded off against Trump’s indictment, arguing it was politically motivated and pointing out its unprecedented nature. Trump is not only a former president, but a declared candidate in the 2024 presidential election – when he could potentially go head-to-head with Democratic President Joe Biden in next year’s race.
“Alvin Bragg is attempting to interfere in our democratic process by invoking federal law to bring politicized charges against President Trump, admittedly using federal funds, while at the same time arguing that the peoples’ representatives in Congress lack jurisdiction to investigate this farce,” said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-CA. “Not so. Bragg’s weaponization of the federal justice process will be held accountable by Congress.”
Critics of the case against Trump have also questioned the impartiality of Judge Juan Manuel Merchan, the judge assigned to the case, who was appointed by former New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg. As CatholicVote reported today:
Merchan is an immigrant from Colombia and graduated from Hofstra University. The judge has been involved in cases against Trump in the past, and due to this, the president stated on his social media platform Truth Socia that Merchan “HATES ME.” It was reported on Tuesday that Merchan’s daughter is an active Democratic political operative, and worked on then-candidate Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.
The post Trump Arraignment Ignites Swell of Conservative Backlash appeared first on CatholicVote org.
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