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Trump Shares Message Online Hours Before NY Hush Money Trial

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former President Donald Trump has issued a big warning just hours before his trial begins in New York.

Jury selection for District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case, which involves allegations of a “hush money” scheme and cover-up, will commence on Monday, the first day of Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan.

Trump used his Truth Social platform to set the stage for Monday’s events and paint a picture of how things look today compared to just four years ago.

“Just four years ago I was a very popular and successful President of the United States, getting more votes than any sitting President in history,” he wrote. “Tomorrow morning I’ll be in Criminal Court, before a totally conflicted Judge, a Corrupt Prosecutor, a Legal System in CHAOS, a State being overrun by violent crime and corruption, and Crooked Joe Biden’s henchmen ‘Rigging the System’ against his Political Opponent, ME!”

“I will be fighting for myself but, much more importantly, I will be fighting for our Country,” he wrote. “Election Interference like this has never happened in the USA before and, hopefully, will never happen again. We are now a Nation in serious Decline, a Failing Nation, but we will soon be a Great Nation Again. November 5th will be the most important day in the History of the United States.”

He concluded with slightly more enthusiasm, going back to all caps to write, “MAGA2024! SEE YOU TOMORROW.”

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Monday will mark the start of the jury selection process for Trump’s trial, which is related to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into purported hush-money payments made to Trump before the 2016 presidential election.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee for 2024 is on trial for the first time in his election year in New York City. For every charge, Trump has entered a not-guilty plea.

Juan Merchan, a Manhattan judge, is overseeing the proceedings. Because of Merchan’s Democratic affiliation and the judge’s supposed “hostility” toward the presumed Republican nominee for president in 2024, Trump’s legal team had filed a motion to have Merchan removed from the trial.

In April of last year, Bragg filed 34 first-degree charges against Trump for falsifying business records. The charges also related to purported hush-money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign.

DA Bragg alleged that Trump “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”

“During the election, Trump and others employed a ‘catch and kill’ scheme to identify, purchase, and bury negative information about him and boost his electoral prospects,” Bragg alleged in the indictment last year. “TRUMP then went to great lengths to hide this conduct, causing dozens of false entries in business records to conceal criminal activity, including attempts to violate state and federal election laws.”

Fox News reported:

According to New York state law, a charge of falsifying business records in the first degree alleges that the defendant committed a crime of falsifying business records with the intent to defraud. The intent to defraud would be an intent to commit another crime.

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In 2019, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York investigated the matter and opted not to charge Trump related to the alleged payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021.

According to Bragg, Trump “orchestrated a ‘catch and kill’ scheme through a series of payments that he then concealed through months of false business entries” between August 2015 and December 2017.

Bragg also claimed that a former doorman at Trump Tower received $30,000 from American Media Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer, for a story he claimed to have about a child Trump had not married into.

Additionally, the DA claimed that American Media Inc. gave a woman who claimed to have had a sexual relationship with Trump $150,000. Bragg was reportedly talking about McDougal.

Additionally, Bragg claimed that Trump “explicitly directed a lawyer,” presumably referring to Michael Cohen, his former lawyer, to “reimburse” American Media Inc. with cash. He claimed that Cohen wired $130,000 to an attorney for an adult film actress “12 days before the presidential general election,” ostensibly referring to Daniels.

For breaking campaign finance laws connected to the payments, among other federal charges, Cohen entered a guilty plea in 2019 and received a three-year prison sentence. Cohen admitted to organizing the payments, but he insists that Trump gave the orders.

Bragg alleged that after the election, Trump reimbursed Cohen through a series of monthly checks “first from the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust – created in New York to hold the Trump Organization’s assets during TRUMP’s presidency – and later from TRUMP’s bank account. In total, 11 checks were issued for a phony purpose.”

“Nine of those checks were signed by TRUMP,” Bragg charged. “Each check was processed by the Trump Organization and illegally disguised as a payment for legal services rendered pursuant to a non-existent retainer agreement.”

“In total, 34 false entries were made in New York business records to conceal the initial covert $130,000 payment. … Further, participants in the scheme took steps that mischaracterized, for tax purposes, the true nature of the reimbursements.”

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