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Donald Trump Faces Criminal Charges As Prosecutors Allege Falsification Of Business Records During 2016 Campaign

Donald J. Trump
Donald Trump ( Photo: NPR )

On Tuesday, the Manhattan District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, arraigned former US President.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump ( Photo: NBC News )

Donald Trump on criminal charges

The case, however, has opened up a debate about Trump’s legal vulnerability as prosecutors in separate investigations probe his bid to steal Joe Biden‘s election win in Georgia in 2020, his hoarding of classified documents, and his behavior ahead of January 6, 2021, insurrection. Trump was charged with falsifying New York business records to hide criminal conduct during the 2016 presidential election.

The indictment suggested that a felony could be charged if the books were cooked to hide evidence of criminal conduct connected to the 2016 campaign. Trump’s behavior, as detailed in court documents, was certainly sleazy. But some legal analysts pointed out that Bragg’s legal roadmap could open the way to robust pre-trial motions by Trump’s attorneys.

The former president walked slowly through the door of the courthouse and was taken to be fingerprinted. News photographs of Trump seated at a table with lawyers like any other defendant reflected his moment of stunning indignity. Trump kept silent in court, saying little other than “not guilty,” and he didn’t speak to reporters after the hearing.

But by the time he swapped the spartan decor of the courtroom for friendly turf, under the crystal chandeliers in his gold-leafed resort in Florida, Trump was ready to erupt. His furious reaction to those cases showed he is increasingly worried about his vulnerability as prosecutors in separate investigations probe his behavior ahead of January 6, 2021, insurrection.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told CNN Tuesday evening that there was “disappointment” among his fellow veteran law enforcement officers that the Bragg indictment and statement of facts had not been more specific on the leap required to charge Trump with a felony.

Bragg insisted that a decision not to prosecute Trump would go against every core principle of American justice

“We cannot and will not normalize serious criminal conduct,” he said at a news conference after Trump appeared in court. He said such cases were not unusual but “the bread and butter” of his office’s work.

Given that the next hearing in the Manhattan case is on December 4, and the other cases appear to address more grave constitutional questions, it’s possible that Tuesday’s events could well be overtaken.

The day a former president was charged with a crime will always be remembered, but it might come to be seen as the start of an ominous process for Trump more than a historic culmination.

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