Bragg Alleges Trump Falsified Business Records to ‘Cover Up Crimes Relating to 2016 Election’

Manhattan District Attorney's Office

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleged that former President Donald Trump falsified business records to “cover up crimes relating to the 2016 election.”

Bragg spoke shortly after Trump was arraigned on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree in violation of New York state Penal Law §175.10.

Former President Donald Trump arrives at court, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

“Why did Donald Trump repeatedly make these false statements? The evidence will show that he did so to cover up crimes relating to the 2016 election,” Bragg claimed.

Bragg alleged that Trump, executives at America Media Incorporated (AMI), former attorney Michael Cohen, and others developed a “catch-and-kill scheme” in 2015 to suppress negative stories. He accused Trump and others of making payments to three people as part of the scheme but zoned in on porn star Stormy Daniels.

Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claims to have slept with US President Donald Trump over a decade ago, talks with a journalist during an interview at the Berlin erotic fair "Venus" in Berlin on October 11, 2018. (Photo by Ralf Hirschberger / dpa / AFP) / Germany OUT (Photo credit should read RALF HIRSCHBERGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Stormy Daniels (RALF HIRSCHBERGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Bragg claimed that Cohen made a $130,000 wire transfer to porn star Stormy Daniels’s lawyer in the weeks ahead of the 2016 presidential election “to hide damaging information from the voting public.”

He asserted:

The scheme violated New York election law which makes it a crime to conspire to promote a candidacy by unlawful means. The $130,000 wire payment exceeded the federal campaign contribution cap, and the false statements in AMI’s books violated New York law. That is why Mr. Trump made false statements about his payments to Mr. Cohen.

Bragg alleged that because Trump would “admit a crime” if he said the payments were reimbursement for hush money transferred to Daniels, he paid Cohen “for fictitious legal services in 2017.”

Bolton: Trump Charges Weak, ‘Easily Subject to Being Dismissed or a Quick Acquittal:

Trump ripped the case as weak and insisted on his innocence in a Truth Social post after the arraignment:

Just lifted off for Palm Beach, Florida. Will be delivering remarks tonight at Mar-a-Lago at 8:15 P.M., EASTERN. The hearing was shocking to many in that they had no “surprises,” and therefore, no case. Virtually every legal pundit has said that there is no case here. There was nothing done illegally!

The case has been under heavy scrutiny ever since Trump announced that he anticipated being arrested based on “illegal leaks” from Bragg’s office. George Washington University law professor Jonathon Turley emphasized weeks ago that federal prosecutors, and prosecutors under Bragg’s predecessor, previously opted not to pursue charges in the case, which he called “legally pathetic.”

While countless populist Republicans have condemned the indictment, slamming it as “politically motivated,” even establishment Republicans who have expressed a disliking of Trump have come to his defense.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said Bragg “has stretched to reach felony criminal charges in order to fit a political agenda,” as Real Clear News White House reporter Phil Wegmann noted.

Trump’s 2016 rival, former Gov Jeb Bush (R-FL), said the case “is very political, not a matter of justice.”

“In this case, let the jury be the voters,” he added.


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