Over the weekend, Trump announced that he might be arrested on Tuesday, stemming from the accusation that he paid $130,000 dollars in hush money to former porn star Stormy Daniels via his ex-attorney/fixer, Michael Cohen, to cover up an extramarital affair. The funds were then paid back to Michael Cohen via several mislabeled payments over time. Although the statute of limitations has expired on this particular type of misdemeanor, DA Alvin Bragg is attempting to move the charge to the level of a felony by claiming that the act of paying hush money on Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election was done to affect the results of the election.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle have voiced their concern (or remained noticeably mum) about the potential pitfalls of failing to indict Trump now, whilst legal experts are pointing to the unprecedented methods being used to secure an indictment against the former president.
Amongst the hushed rumbling chatter of democrats, the main fears are 1) There are more important charges waiting in the wings, while this salacious one puts on the drain on time and money ahead of Trump’s potential campaign run. 2) The indictment is moving at such a fast pace that Bragg may not be able to get all of his ducks in a row. Many experts believe that, with the evidence presented, there isn’t enough to prove that Trump was aware of the hush money payment. Rather, the evidence seems to show that Michael Cohen paid the money of his own volition in an attempt to protect Trump’s campaign. The payments made by Trump to Cohen, as Brookings fellow and attorney Norm Eisen stated, is “an open-and-shut, books-and-records misdemeanor,”.
This speaks to the fear of some democrats that a miss here will jeopardize all future proceedings (many of the other charges on the docket against Trump are considerably more serious – including instigating the Jan. 6 riot; and attempting to sway the 2020 election), allowing for Trump’s legal team to smear every forthcoming attempt to indict him as a witch hunt.