Helena Lyng Blak
6 weeks ago

The Trial Against Donald Trump Begins Today

It is the first criminal trial against a former US president.
Former President Donald Trump speaks to press before the start of civil fraud trial brought by NYS Attorney General Letitia James at NYS court in New York on October 2, 2023. Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock.com
Former President Donald Trump speaks to press before the start of civil fraud trial brought by NYS Attorney General Letitia James at NYS court in New York on October 2, 2023. Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

On Monday, April 15, the first ever criminal trial of a former US president begins, kicking off with jury selection.

It is the first of four criminal cases against Donald Trump expected to go to trial.

The former US president is accused of “repeatedly and fraudulently” falsifying business records to conceal criminal conduct that “hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”

It is alleged that Trump paid ‘hush money’ to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie A. Gregory Clifford, during the 2016 presidential election, via his former attorney Michael Cohen to suppress details of an alleged affair.

Now, providing payment in exchange for a non-disclosure agreement is not in itself necessarily illegal, writes BBC.

However, what Trump is accused of is, for instance, falsifying business records to disguise the reimbursements made to Cohen as well as orchestrating an “unlawful scheme” to sway the 2016 presidential election. This alleged scheme involved identifying, purchasing, and suppressing negative stories about Trump, the then-presidential candidate.

The trial may prove to be highly influential in this year’s presidential election. 

According to a poll by Reuters/Ipsos, 64% of registered voters described the charges as at least “somewhat serious”, with roughly 40% of Republican respondents and 66% of independents considering the charges serious.

The other three criminal cases involving Trump concern vote manipulation in Georgia, election interference in relation to the January 6th riots in the US Capitol, and the illegal storing of classified documents.

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