The decade's most triggering comedy
Former President Donald Trump was arrested on Tuesday after surrendering himself to the Manhattan district attorney’s office to face dozens of felony charges.
The former president’s motorcade of nearly a dozen vehicles arrived at the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building around 1:30 p.m. EST.
On his way to the building, Trump posted on social media that the moment was “SURREAL.”
“WOW, they are going to ARREST ME,” he wrote. “Can’t believe this is happening in America. MAGA!”
Despite being under arrest, the former president is not expected to be handcuffed or to have a mug shot taken.
The criminal charges that Trump faces stem from his alleged role in a $130,000 hush money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election.
As noted by the New York Post and The New York Times, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was paid $420,000 by Trump or Trump’s trust. According to federal prosecutors, that money included $130,000 for the payment and $50,000 for digital work Cohen did for Trump. That $180,000 was then allegedly doubled to offset taxes. The remaining $60,000 was a “bonus,” prosecutors say.
Although non-disclosure agreements are legal, the potential problem for Trump centers around how his company reimbursed Cohen. The payment was listed as a legal expense and the company cited a retainer agreement with Cohen. The retainer agreement did not exist and the reimbursement was not related to any legal services from Cohen, thus setting up a potential misdemeanor criminal charge of falsifying business records. Trump personally signed several of the checks to Cohen while he was serving as president.
Prosecutors can elevate the misdemeanor to a felony if they can prove that Trump’s “‘intent to defraud’ included an intent to commit or conceal a second crime.”
Prosecutors argue that the second crime is that the alleged $130,000 hush payment was an improper donation to the Trump campaign because the money was used to stop a story for the purpose of benefiting his presidential campaign.
This is a developing news story; refresh the page for updates.