April 24, 2024

In the statement of facts, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleges that former President Donald Trump orchestrated an “unlawful” scheme with others to “influence the 2016 presidential election” and that other participants in the scheme have admitted to “committing illegal conduct in connection with the scheme.”

Specifically, the statement of facts references the guilty plea by ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen in the federal campaign finance case that was prosecuted in 2018 and to the admissions of AMI – the publisher of National Inquirer – in the non-prosecution agreement it reached in the federal investigation.

Bragg is not charging Trump with a violation of election law or a conspiracy related to that alleged campaign-related conduct. However, falsifying business records – the charge Trump faces 34 counts of – is only a felony if the records were falsified with the intent to commit or conceal another crime. The indictment says that for all 34 counts, Trump had the “intent to defraud and intent to commit another crime and aid and conceal the commission thereof.”

Bragg alleged in his press conference Tuesday that the business records were falsified in 2017 with the intent of concealing criminal conduct connected to the 2016 campaign. He referenced a New York state law that makes it a crime to conspire to promote candidacy by unlawful means.

The statement of facts says that the payment that Cohen (referred to as Lawyer A) made to Stormy Daniels (identified as Woman 2) were “illegal,” as Cohen has pleaded guilty to making an “illegal campaign contribution.”

“Further, false entries were made in New York business records to effectuate this payment, separate and apart from the New York business records used to conceal the payment,” the statement of facts said, referring to the reimbursement checks that were “disguised” as legal retainer fees for Cohen.

The statement of facts goes on to lay out how both Cohen and AMI have admitted in the court filings related to the federal case of having the intent of influencing the 2016 election with their participation in the scheme.

The statement of facts cautions in a footnote that it “does not contain all facts relevant to the charged conduct.”



Source: cnn.com

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