Former President Donald Trump has demanded the resignation of Manhattan’s district attorney, Alvin Bragg, after details of Trump’s indictment were leaked to Yahoo News journalist Michael Isikoff. The report claims that Trump is scheduled to face a total of 34 charges the next day. Trump’s reaction was reportedly severe, and he called for Bragg to not only prosecute himself but also declared that Bragg’s wife would be proud of him if he did so. His legal team has said that he will plead not guilty to the charges, without providing further details. Nevertheless, Trump has expressed a desire to further boosts his legal team by adding a constitutional expert, amid fears that the judge may impose a gag order ahead of the trial.
Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations related to the hush-money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 US Presidential election. Trump was implicated as ‘Individual-1’ as the person who reimbursed Cohen. The indictment is believed to be connected to those campaign finance violations. It remains unclear what the underlying crime that escalated these violations to felonies is. Yahoo News also revealed that the falsification of business records would be prosecuted as a felony, although it is uncommon for such misdemeanors to be levelled that way. Bragg’s office has filed all 34 charges as the lowest-level felonies in the New York State penal code, as the conduct was intended to conceal another underlying crime.
Protests are expected as Trump arrives in Manhattan for the hearing, and the police began building barricades around the Trump Tower and on Manhattan’s Criminal Court building downtown. Sources claim he will not be handcuffed or forced to present a mugshot due to restrictions on New York’s mugshot publishing. His legal team requested a ban on the use of cameras in the courthouse, while his team prepares to add constitutional expertise. His former aides and advisers accompanied the former president to New York City. Trump called the case both a ‘witch hunt’ and a ‘political lynching’ on several occasions. The former president had raised $8 million in donations since news of the indictment broke.
Trump is expected to enter a not guilty plea to charges the following day, with critics already calling for his immediate imprisonment. Trump may face impeachment if proven guilty, which would prevent him from running for President or other elected offices in the future. The ongoing investigation sparked mixed feelings among the US public, with many perceiving it as an attack on former President Trump’s legacy. However, the law enforcement involved in the investigations claim to be executing their duty to uphold the law, in contrast to political gains. Overall, anyone defying the US Constitution is punishable, as Trump faces the long arm of the law.