Donald Trump, Accused Criminal

NYT reports that Trump has been indicted. CNN has confirmed.

A Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Donald J. Trump on Thursday for his role in paying hush money to a porn star, according to four people with knowledge of the matter, a historic development that will shake up the 2024 presidential race and forever mark him as the nation’s first former president to face criminal charges.

The felony indictment, filed under seal by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, will likely be announced in the coming days. By then, prosecutors working for the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, will have asked Mr. Trump to surrender and to face arraignment on charges that remain unknown for now.

These are just the training wheel charges.

254 replies
    • Rayne says:

      I’m watching for a short sale opportunity. If I knew exactly what was inside that sealed indictment I’d know whether I had my first opportunity.

      As it is I can still make a buck as demand increases. Just hope things don’t get so hot my futures pop!


      Many of us are excited that Trump has finally been indicted for something. The existence of this indictment does not mean there are not counterpoint opinion, nor is it a permission slip to go off on other community members. Same comment thread guidelines apply as usual. When in doubt about your comment, don’t publish it.

    • smf88011 says:

      I have seen that there is 30 counts that he has been indicted. We won’t find out what those counts are of until sometime next week – probably Tuesday.

      • gertibird says:

        Yes, he was supposed to be arraigned today, Friday, but his lawyers managed to delay by using the excuse the secret service wasn’t ready. That’s doubtful but they got away with it. I’m sure they were desperate to avoid the planned Friday arraignment and perp walk because all the Sunday morning talk shows will be discussing this, but now they won’t have the actual charges.

      • BrokenPromises says:

        Prior reports hinted that multiple people will be charged so that should account for a number but definitely all the players. So multiple counts for multiple people. Unless Bragg plans to charge for each individual payment which is a possibility right? Still it’s hard to imagine that Cohen and *rump are the only actors.

  1. punaise says:

    These are just the training wheel charges.

    GA, or better yet stolen docs: “Look Ma! No hands!”

    • Willis Warren says:

      January 6th will be bigger than the stolen docs. That’s the one he needs to be locked up for. Too late for the Russia stuff

      • tinao says:

        OMG, being an old ballet dancer I can’t tell you how much I love musicals. Danny Kaye is a hero! The humor of the time was fresh too. Thanks for that Savage Librarian. : – )

        • tinao says:

          The actresses, actors, scripts, courage and the times have a place in my heart. They stood up in a humorous way gosh darnit!

        • StillHopeful says:

          The Dodger song!!!

          Cepeda goes to firld the ball, so does Hiller, so dors Miller,
          Miller hollers Hiller,
          Hiller hollars Miller,
          Haller hollars Hiller points to Miller with his fist,
          And that’s the Miller-Hiller-Haller Hallelajuh Twist!

          Those were the days…….

        • StillHopeful says:

          Just got through all of the comments…..

          (Oh, if you want to hear the Dodger song on Amazon you have to spell out the song i.e. Alexa play Dee Ooh Dee Gee Eee Rrr Ess by Danny Kaye”. Very amusing for those who lived those days)

          Oh, about the comments

          TFG has seemingly committed several offenses against federal and state laws:
          Hush payment to porn star
          Georgia 2020 election interference
          January 6, 2021 coup attempt
          Hiding/stealing classified government documents post transfer of power

          All four require TFG to employ multiple lawyers to try to squash / delay proceedings.

          According to Ms Wheeler around 30 of these legal representatives have now had to hire attorneys to represent them against crimes allegedly committed to aid TFG’s crimes.

          IANAL, but I (with some past experience dealing with classified materials) would guess that TFG’s legal exposure ranking would be:
          1) Classified documents hiding/stealing
          2) January 6 coup attempt
          3) Georgia election interference
          4) Hush payment to porn star

          So, starting from potentially the weakest case, gives him (and his allies) the greatest potential to work the media to his advantage.

          Sincerely hope that I am wrong.

        • StillHopeful says:

          Back to Danny Kaye…..

          Grew up on the Giants.

          My biggest fear then to be “buried” by Nikita Kruschev………

        • StillHopeful says:

          Orlando Cepeda is at bat with bases jammed
          Orlando Cepeda with a wham…..etc

          For us pre-teen baseball fans that was very entertaining.

          Thank you, Danny Kaye!

        • xbronx says:

          It was a team effort. Danny’s wife, Sylvia Fine, was the lyricist for most of them. On the Dodgers song she shared credit.

      • John Lehman says:

        Bravo…bravo! Encore..encore…!
        Can’t be watched without joy.

        Thank you Savage Librarian.

    • Frank Anon says:

      NY Post reports he is likely to be handcuffed, even briefly. The cop that takes that surreptitious photo retires soon thereafter

      • c-i-v-i-l says:

        From The Guardian a week ago, “Donald Trump has told advisers that he wants to be handcuffed when he makes an appearance in court if he is indicted by a Manhattan grand jury …, multiple sources close to the former president have said. Trump has reasoned that since he would need to go to the courthouse and surrender himself to authorities for fingerprinting and a mug shot anyway, the sources said, he may as well turn everything into a ‘spectacle.'” He’s already raising money off the indictment.

      • Leading Edge Boomer says:

        I don’t take the NY Post to be truthful about anything. In fact, no publication in any medium that is owned by Murdoch can be trusted.

      • BrokenPromises says:

        As a police photographer I bragged to detectives that I could make a million dollars off photos of a very high profile celebrity. Retire? Sure. To a jail cell. Weirdly photos of said celebrity were leaked. My hand trembled as I moved the mouse over to click the link. TG they weren’t my shots. The dept members who took the photos were disciplined but how was never published.
        Side note: it was doubly nerve wracking linking to those photos as I assured the celebrity the photos would be safely locked in a safe inside police headquarters.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Big amen to that, bmaz. I’m praying that Trump does not get the perp walk or handcuffs he seems to want for his purposes, and others want for their own jollies. There is no upside for this to be conducted in anything but the most professional manner. Dignity may be foreign to Trump’s playbook, but the justice system depends on it.

        • bmaz says:

          There is a way to do this cleanly and appropriately. Very much hope that is what is done. If the media is focused on Tuesday, I would move him in and out quietly early Monday morning.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Is that possible, bmaz? That the announced date, time, and courtroom could be a smokescreen?

        • Savage Librarian says:

          It would be win/win for Trump, too, if the process is conducted in a dignified manner. If he resists his impetuous nature, and instead acts in a respectful, reserved way, it is more likely that he might stop hemorrhaging Trump voters that he is losing due to his anger issues.

          The court would also be more apt to place some trust in him and not have to resort to restrictive measures.

    • Patrick Carty says:

      Every newspaper in the world will splash the mugshot. What one will win the caption contest? NY Post should be good, The Onion?

      • wa_rickf says:

        I would venture to guess that a British paper will win the headline contest. They’re so witty and snarky over there.

  2. Skillethead says:

    I’d been wondering if the Grand Jury/Bragg was considering charging Trump with the same set of crimes that Cohen was convicted on? Upping the charge. Guess we’ll find out soon.

    • Andrew is Tired says:

      It’s not. Those were federal crimes. Bragg is (in all likelihood) charging Trump with a state crime of falsifying business records to cover up that crime. But, I mean, I haven’t seen the charges, just going off conventional wisdom here

    • Willis Warren says:

      No, it won’t be federal campaign finance, but it will probably be fraud for each time he lied about the payments in documents.

  3. phred says:


    The Mr. just went to break out the champagne : )

    I know it’s just the first leg of the relay, but hallelujah all the same!

    Happy Indictment Day for All Who Celebrate!

    • bmaz says:

      This is if not the most, certainly one of the most, and biggest pieces of politically motivated and garbage indictments in history.

      People celebrating this horse manure ought to step back.

      • phred says:

        I respectfully disagree counselor. Cohen went to prison for this. Why should his unindicted co-conspirator get off scot free? At a minimum, he should be treated equally under the law.

        I know the law is not applied equally, but it should be.

        • bmaz says:

          Seriously??????? This is so FAR from “equal application’ that it is not even in the same universe.

        • Dave_MB says:

          Yes, Seriously. Just because he’s committed so many crimes and so many more serious crimes doesn’t mean that this is not a crime as well. I fail to see the ‘selective prosecution’ angle.

        • Rayne says:

          This is incorrect. Cohen was charged with and pleaded to:

          5 counts 26 USC 7201 — Tax Evasion

          1 count 18 USC 1014 and 2 — Making false statements to a federally insured bank

          1 count 52 USC 30118(a), 30109(d)(1)(A), and 18 USC 2(b) — Causing an unlawful corporate contribution

          1 count 52 USC 30116(a)(1)(A), 20116(a)(7), 30109(d)(1)(A), and 18 USC 2(b) — Making an excessive campaign contribution


        • Rayne says:

          Thank you, yes, I should have looked for that letter. But to say he *only* pleaded to false statements to Congress would be untrue.

        • FL Resister says:

          Thank you and my apologies. The emphasis in MSM has been on saying Cohen lied to Congress. I come here to get the full story.

      • TXphysicist says:

        Yeah, kinda agree.

        I think the most utility this provides is normalizing indictments of Trump.

        I really wish there was a way to do that without normalizing indictments of former presidents, but alas.

        • Patrick Carty says:

          There is nothing normal about this going forward. The reality is, a grand jury sat for months and heard testimony from a variety of witnesses, including Donald Trump, who didn’t add much as he took advantage of his fifth amendment rights to not answer close to 250 times. An indictment of Donald Trump is not an attack, it is his earned consequence. Future indictments from other investigations will be no different in their cause, which is the breaking of laws.

        • c-i-v-i-l says:

          Trump didn’t sit before this GJ. You may be confusing this with a different case, such as the civil suit brought by the NY AG alleging business fraud. He did plead the 5th over 400 times in that deposition.

        • Patrick Carty says:

          Yes, it was with Letitia James in a deposition in a different fraud case. And it was over 400 times he took the protection of the fifth.

      • Sparkedcat says:

        Hey bmaz. Michael Cohen went to federal prison for aiding and abetting individual one in this matter. Sit this one out.

        • Sparkedcat says:

          I will not shut the fuck up. You are obviously not aware of all the facts, circumstances and law. Being thin-skinned does not allow one to insult a contrary opinion.

          [You’re done in this thread. You are not helping by cluttering this thread with heated remarks containing no factual material relevant to the indictment to make your point. Take a seat. /~Rayne]

          [8:22 p.m. — I’m going to repeat this since you clearly didn’t grasp the point the first time: You are not helping by cluttering this thread with heated remarks containing no factual material relevant to the indictment to make your point./~Rayne]

      • RandomTurkey says:

        And if the charges are that Trump paid off a porn star to avoid the optics of his affair right before the 2016 election (or are directly related to campaign finance violations), the crime itself was politically motivated. So when Republicans break the law with political motivation what are the options? Projections like bmaz’s that the prosecutor is politically motivated ignore the political motives behind the crime itself. People across the country are going to be celebrating tonight in hopes that justice will actually happen to the law-breaking rich and powerful who have always felt that the law doesn’t apply to them.

        • bmaz says:

          You idiots go “celebrate” if you wish. Get back to me when you believe more in actual law than petty glee over any random Trump indictment. Your first comment here may be your last.

        • RandomTurkey says:

          bmaz, calling people here ‘idiots’ and your other choice words seems like it is against the rules being posted of being civil in this thread. Perhaps you should read the guidelines. Just wanted to point out that it should work both ways. Even for the mods, rule #1 should still apply.

          [If you don’t like what contributors/moderators write here or how they operate the comments, you’re free to find the exit and/or start your own blog. We do not take policing from commenters. /~Rayne]

        • Rayne says:

          I do not want a bowl of popcorn returned after it has been on loan. ~shudder~

          Set up a wish list in Amazon for some Opopop, comes with its own bowl. LOL

      • zgveritas says:

        What evidence is there that this is a politically motivated indictment?

        The fact that it originated in a blue jurisdiction is not enough to call it that.

        Prefer to read the indictment before making grandiose speculative claims about it’s merits.
        Certainly not relying on leaked accounts to the press from Trump lawyers about the novelty of the charges. Nor are the former NY DA attorneys accounts to date necessarily accurate.

        Wait and see before playing with your joysticks or refusing to.

        [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second user name; your previous comments here have been published as “montysep.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

        • bmaz says:

          This is your first ever comment here, and you wander in with this crap? Seriously? Screw you and your joysticks. Welcome to Emptywheel. Do better the next time you approach.

        • Rayne says:

          Your comment and my moderator’s note passed each other. This person may have used a sockpuppet; they now have a whopping five comments under their belt here so far.

      • Belynski says:

        party pooper

        [Moderator’s note: This is the second spelling of your username so far; you’ve been commenting as “Belynsky” until now. Pick a spelling and stick with or you’ll be booted for sockpuppetry. This is your second warning about nonconstructive comments aimed at harassing a moderator and cluttering thread. Take a seat. /~Rayne]

        • BruceF says:

          Agree all should wait for indictment to be opened. Also, agree this is not a time for celebration for our nation. Still, found it troubling that when I turned to Fox news to see their coverage that a network reported to be moving on from Trump was airing an interview by two South Carolinians (Graham and Gowdy) that closely paralleled Calhoun and Picken’s call for insurrection! After January 6, you cannot help but be concerned for where this goes moving forward!

      • Rugger_9 says:

        The DA didn’t release it, Trump’s lawyers did so until we see the actual court filing take any other news with a grain of salt beyond the fact that an indictment was voted for.

        • Rayne says:

          First, I think you have a typo/grammar error, not certain which.

          A fundamental problem with the argument this is a political prosecution is that the crimes are likely based on politics. bmaz and I won’t agree entirely about Bragg’s prosecution; there was definitely a problem with campaign finance, after all, but this inherently political because the entire motivation for violating campaign finance was politics. It’s right there: campaign. finance.

        • Patient Observer says:

          I agree with you that it was a campaign finance violation.

          The defense very likely will argue, same as did Edwards in his case, that the real motive for the hush money payoff was personal.

          And so one line of reasoning that this is “political” (I do not know whether this aligns with bmaz’s thinking) is that the challenge of proving intent renders this too weak a case to advance, absent a political motivation.

          How does one answer that argument?

          In anticipation of angry denunciation of my purported motive in raising this question, allow me to make clear that I have encountered this argument in dialogue with someone else and seek guidance in addressing it.

        • Patient Observer says:

          Having gone through the charging document last night, it seemed to me that the references to Individual-1 were merely contextual. They merely established for the purpose of convicting COHEN on a campaign finance charge that Cohen operated on behalf of the campaign of Individual-1.

          Nothing in there seemed to implicate Individual-1 in any of the machinations among Pecker, Cohen, Editor-1, McDougal, and Stormy.

          Marcy’s more recent post explains this:

          In the months after Cohen’s plea, Main DOJ attempted to interfere in the Cohen investigation repeatedly, as laid out in Geoffrey Berman’s book. They did so first on Rod Rosenstein’s orders, by demanding the SDNY rewrite Cohen’s statement of offense to hide the degree to which Trump ordered the hush payments (Rosenstein’s deputy, Ed O’Callaghan tried to eliminate all reference to Individual-1).

          ***We then sent a copy to Rod Rosenstein, informing him that a plea was imminent. The next day, Khuzami, who was overseeing the case, received a call from O’Callaghan, Rosenstein’s principal deputy.

          O’Callaghan was aggressive.

          Why the length, he wanted to know. He argued that now that Cohen is pleading guilty we don’t need all this description.

          [Robert] Khuzami responded, What exactly are you concerned about? O’Callaghan proceeded to identify specific allegations that he wanted removed, almost all referencing Individual-1.

          It quickly became apparent to Khuzami that, contrary to what O’Callaghan professed, it wasn’t the overall length or detail of the document that concerned him; it was any mention of Individual-1.


          The team was tasked with the rewrite and stayed up most of the night. The revised information, now twenty-one pages, kept all of the charges but removed certain allegations, including allegations that Individual-1 acted “in concert with” and “coordinated with” Cohen on the illegal campaign contributions. The information now alleged that Cohen acted in concert and coordinated with “one or more members of the campaign.” But in the end, everything that truly needed to be in the information was still there.***
          In the weeks and years following January 6, the former guy has relied quite a lot on his Kevin.

          We will find, I think, that in this circumstance he will find himself undone by his Pecker.

        • Rayne says:

          Sure…one would have to think Donnie Jr. ever wrote a check to Michael Cohen without his daddy’s express permission which could be completely covered up. Donnie Jr. couldn’t even cover his own ass about the meeting with Veselnitskaya.

        • Matt Foley says:

          I think Trump arguing the payment was to avoid embarrassment will fail. I don’t think he is capable of feeling embarrassment. (See his response to Access Hollywood tape. “Locker room talk.”) But embarrassing or not it strains credulity (or should to a reasonable juror) to claim that he believed his campaign would not be further damaged if the story came out, given GOP’s negative reaction to Access Hollywood tape.

      • Andrew is Tired says:

        Yeah, not enough liberals are considering the ramifications of this particular charge. Which is understandable for those who don’t pay too much attention as Trump’s obviously broken several laws (balls in your court Fani) but for those who know the law it’s really disappointing.

      • Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

        I can think of at least three federal indictments possibly worse:

        Bill Clinton’s perjury indictment for something not material.

        Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions III’s indictment of a spectator laughing.

        Tommy Chong’s indictment for selling paraphernalia.

      • BrokenPromises says:

        I’ll wait to see how a judge responds to the indictment. As long as it’s not that anti-abortion fed judge in Texas. (Relax, I know it’s a state case not a federal case just sharing a little satire for levity). (Now that I think about it that Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk is clearly politically driven. Way worse than *rump being indicted)

  4. NerdyCanuck says:

    Thank you for the gifted New York Times link! I would not have been able to read about it there otherwise. The updates ar streaming in, it’s kind of nuts!

  5. bmaz says:

    Run your little personal joysticks at will. Whatever this turns out to be, it will be shit. If you think this is what criminal law is, or should be…..even as to Trump…..then never talk to me again, because you are talking out of your ass.

    • Richieboy says:

      I knew you were down on the Willis grand jury probe but if you’ve taken this kinda stand against the looming Bragg indictment before now, I guess I missed it. So, anyway, why? I’ll hang up and listen.

        • Richieboy says:

          I acknowledge that I was dropping a hint for you to recapitulate here, because I’m lazy. There, I said it. Anyway, I probably have a good sense of where you’re coming from.

        • Troutwaxer says:

          I would also like to have all your thoughts on this matter in one place. (Watching Bragg kill the other investigation because he didn’t think it was going to pan out makes me think he believes this charge has legs.) Also, do you dislike Bragg, or dislike the charges, or both?

          Meanwhile, I’ll be doing Snoopy’s happy dance!

    • Fiendish Thingy says:

      Bmaz, I hope you will put all your thoughts and reactions to this indictment in a single blog post; although I don’t always agree with you, I value your perspective, and would appreciate reading your views in one place, rather than have to scroll through the comments section to read your reactions to others’ posts.

    • Frank Anon says:

      Then how are to react to the endless piles of political trash coming out of, say, Amarillo? Notwithstanding the obvious political pressures, isn’t it better to trust the system will prevail in the end?

        • Kick the Darkness says:

          Earl, your comment captures how I’m feeling. Sort of a grim, we must push on kind of vibe. The “we” feels pretty strained. On the one hand, that may be more apparent than real, online performance shouting to bilk money. On the other, Jan 6 showed the latent potential for real wire to weeds action. But appropriate adherence to the rule of law is the only way forward. We’ll see how we fare through the coming passion of Trump.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          It means no public or private corporate institution works on its own. It works through its current key players: those leading the branches of government or key executives.

          The most “we” can do is exert pressure on them, which is one reason they work so hard to isolate themselves from it. As my civil procedure professor ironically noted, taking it to the streets always remains an option – and it’s the one they most fear. N’est-ce pas, M. Macron?

    • BobBobCon says:

      I think the odds are well weighted your way.

      I want to get all the details to be sure, but I’m guessing one way or another this is a little blip in history.

      I can’t help but smile a little nonetheless. Tomorrow I’ll do better.

    • 2Cats2Furious says:

      AFAIK, no member of the general public has seen the actual indictment, which will likely remain sealed until arraignment early next week. It strikes me as the height of hubris to either celebrate or denigrate the indictment before even reading its contents. I prefer to see the actual indictment before passing judgment on its validity, and any serious attorney should do the same.

  6. PieIsDamnGood says:

    Not sure this deserves popcorn. Maybe I’ll dig out some kernels that have been stuck in the couch since 2016.

  7. Maybe Noble C says:

    Maybe a little different perspective here as a teacher that’s worked with impoverished,but mostly wonderful kids .I see something amazingly wonderful with the announcement as what kind of accountability can I ask of my students,when they have mostly given up a ton of hope. Y’all rock.and I’ll contribute tomorrow…Best,

  8. Maybe Noble C says:

    Forgot to add and as a visiting professor at an Ivy League school. Emptywheel. You are miraculous! C

  9. jmny_clikit says:

    Every Dem everywhere should be loudly proclaiming that T is the first former President in history to be indicted because he had to grossly overpay someone to have sex with him.

    • punaise says:

      1, great handle / screen name
      2. alternative version: perhaps “grossly” belongs in the position of splitting the other infinitive in that sentence.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        I love me a split infinitive joke! Made my day!

        But “grossly” would apply to Monsieur, not Mademoiselle, in your formulation, n’est-ce pas? She, after all, is an artist of the form. He, by all accounts including his own, never has been anything like that.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          I love you, punaise, and was only trying to play with the word game you started. Playing with words is how I keep myself from plumbing the grossness we’re really talking about.

          Je m’accuse!

        • punaise says:

          Well, dang. Water level too low?

          Too bad we can’t some of the excess Sierra snow to its watershed

        • bmaz says:

          The short answer is….yes. Not been up there in a long time, but Dangling Rope always was kind of a weird place that was necessary because Lake Powell was so long. They really needed a marina there, and so made one on effectively the side of a cliff

          To my knowledge, everything …. gas, food, supplies etc was boated in there. But, man, it was a welcome thing. There were people that manned it who lived in housing just above it. Very cool people.

          Have you ever read Desert Solitaire by Ed Abbey? A very interesting look at the area long ago. Though more about Arches, there is a lot of carryover to Glen Canyon and Lake Powell. Highly recommend.

  10. chum'sfriend says:

    So the grand jury in the Stormy Daniels case has voted to indict Trump. I hope there’s something else in there other than the hush money-campaign $$$ illegalities. In relation to everything else going on, this seems petty. It’s a petty thing to use to take down a major political figure. It has shades of Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinski. A conviction won’t be some major righting of a wrong.

    I think this will reflect more poorly on the political left than it reflects on Trump’s character. I was hoping that Jack Smith would go first with charges of trying to take down this democracy on Jan 6, or charges of espionage with Mar-a-Lago stolen documents. Naw, it’s just charges of fucking and then buying the silence of a porn star.

    • Rayne says:

      This is going to be a challenging case for a bunch of reasons, but your “shades of Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinski [sic]” is some weak sauce.

      You do remember why Clinton was impeached, yes?

      As for “reflects on Trump’s character,” you have got to be kidding me. He has proven throughout his life he has no character. Even his former supporters among Jan6 insurrectionists (who believe he left them hanging that day) and former Trump Organization employees(the ones Haberman-NYT claims are cheering by texts) don’t think much of his character. Try a different tack.

  11. Rapier says:

    Trump was never more off his game than when he paid Stormy off. Revelations he partied, sans the blow I guess with a porn star, plainly was an electoral plus for his new GOP coalition. Yet he flinched I think he deserves to be indicted because it was so unnecessary, political mal practice. His voters actually love it. Twisting the woke in knots. I suppose it was sort of fun for him to make a payoff and have the sense of control.

    Admittedly not as bad as a governor losing every penny on a real estate investment. Hell no decent drain commissioner worth his salt can miss doubling his money, yet Clinton lost every penny. That was the Whitewater crime.

    • Frank Anon says:

      I think TRUMP learned a lot from the Stormy payoff. To my memory, that was the last time he did something that any garden-variety pol would have done, and it blew up in his face. It was all nihilistic attack from then on, and you can’t say it hasn’t been fruitful up to now

  12. SunZ00mSpark says:

    DonVanVliet (aka Captain Beefheart)

    “Stars are matter. We are matter. But, it doesn’t matter.”

    It has been recently suggested that Alan Weaselberg has dumped his trumpy lawyers. It has been suggesting he is going to flip to avoid extending his imprisonment. NY may be adding Trump Org charges to TFG.

    So BMAZ, if that happens would it make the indictment more justified to you.

    That would be 2 felonies that other people went to prison for.

    • BSChief1 says:

      I have also seen suggestions that Weisselberg’s new attorney is being paid by the Trump Organization, also, so a flip appears less likely. One can always hope…

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      The Trump family fired Weisselburg’s defense lawyer when they heard Allen was talking to prosecutors. Seems to me like a stupid move since Graziano (the excellent lawyer) had steered a tricky course that kept Weisselburg from serving a ton of time while still never really implicating any Trump.

      And of course he was talking to prosecutors. He negotiated a plea deal that required it.

  13. tinao says:

    Look bmaz, we all want the law to be followed, but after all the laws this creep has broken we need some hope for his true prosecution. Tonight is a GREAT SIGH OF RELIEF. We weren’t sure they would.

  14. c-i-v-i-l says:

    Alvin Bragg spokesperson: “This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”

    I’m very curious to see the indictment.

  15. SunZ00mSpark says:

    DonVanVliet (aka Captain Beefheart)

    “Stars are matter. We are matter. But, it doesn’t matter.”

    It has been recently suggested that Alan Weaselberg has dumped his trumpy lawyers. It has been suggesting he is going to flip to avoid extending his imprisonment. NY may be adding Trump Org charges to TFG.

    So BMAZ, if that happens would it make the indictment more justified to you.

    That would be 2 felonies that other people went to prison for.

    • c-i-v-i-l says:

      Anna Bower: “CNN reports: (1) Weisselberg’s new attorney is being paid by Trump Org. (2) There is “no indication” that Weisselberg is cooperating with Manhattan prosecutors.”
      Allison Gill: “Trump was paying for both Weisselberg’s previous attorneys, and he’s paying for his new lawyer – and some sources are saying donald didn’t like the advice Weisselberg was getting from his previous lawyers. Other sources dispute that contention. … Weisselberg’s new lawyer Seth Rosenberg is a racketeering expert.”

      John Miller (CNN) says Trump has been indicted on 34 counts related to falsifying business records.

  16. I was mm201 says:

    I dunno. What worries me is the potential the indictment has to incite political violence from less stable members of our society.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Precisely why Trump should be indicted, if the facts warrant it. Otherwise, we are agreeing to mob rule, not the rule of law.

      • I was mm201 says:

        My fear is the ones who gain their understanding of the facts from whatever Tucker Carlson and his fellow travelers tell them the facts are.

      • Troutwaxer says:

        Exactly. And if someone riots or commits violence because Trump has been indicted, arrest them too.

    • tinao says:

      Are you asking if we are a civil society, really, after 3 nine year olds and 3 school employees died, really?

    • WhiteTiger says:

      We have to stop being shy about consequences like this because if we don’t get tough skins, we are going to lose the whole ball game, and by that I mean the most existential questions of our time. We cannot turn away from difficulty.

  17. chrisanthemama says:

    “This is all a smoke screen to distract you from the Gwyneth Paltrow verdict.”

  18. Bay State Librul says:

    I think Steve Van Zandt, from the E Street Band, says it best
    “We are reminded by history to embrace those rare blissful moments with all your strength when you find them because who knows what rough beast slouching toward Bethlehem is just around the corner waiting to be born”

    This is one of those moments of accountability

  19. oldtulsadude says:

    IANAL but I hope there is a charge or charges of more heft than what has leaked. If there were underlying crimes discovered of a more serious nature I would be less ambivalent about what has transpired.

  20. gertibird says:

    According to CNN Trump faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud in an indictment from a Manhattan grand jury. This case could be devastating for Trump if his long time and currently jailed accountant Weisselburg turns on Trump. He has apparently fired his Trump paid for lawyers and hired his own.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      Preponderance of the evidence. Maybe this will change BMAZ’s mind?
      Wait till Fanni unleashes her findings

      • JAFO_NAL says:

        Whether the charges will stick or not will still be speculation even after this indictment is public. I think it’s unfortunate this case was the first pending one to be indicted because if the charges are weak it will be that much easier for Trump’s lawyers to drag out the proceedings and for him to paint the cases that are more consequential as a witch hunt. I’m more interested in seeing cases successfully prosecuted that would keep him from ever holding office again.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        What CNN says is in the indictment is what the Trump lawyers fed them and has all of the credibility of an AG Barr summary. Individual-1 is someone even Turdblossom Rove wouldn’t work with and that’s pretty damn low to be beneath Rove’s standards. Until we see the unsealed indictment it’s all froth.

        Given how cautious DA Bragg had been about things Trump to the point where two of his attorneys quit with pressers, I don’t think he’d go in with an indictment unless he was certain about prosecuting it to the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ standard. This is a criminal case.

        When we see the indictment from the court, it would benefit the board to see if there is anything time-barred and when those clocks started. I’m not so sure DA Bragg would risk giving up such an easy dismissal on grounds like that (or venue, etc.). FWIW I would not expect the grand jury (likely to be doxxed for Jesse Watters treatment or worse) to follow through unless they were pretty sure as well. New Yorkers aren’t that stupid and there are too many celebrities in town to be that impressed with Trump. Faux News has gone into the realm of acid trips to try to minimize / downplay / equivocate what Trump did.

        Speaking of celebrities, Gwyneth Paltrow prevailed in a case that probably shouldn’t have been brought based upon the evidence I saw from the plaintiff. We’ll see if she gets her legal fees.

  21. tinao says:

    See Civil’s comment above. : – (, gertibird. Hey, my oldest dog’s name is gert. gertrudimus, and such.

    • gertibird says:

      Yes, I saw that comment. I got the information I posted about Weisselberg from USA Today.
      OT, I have an ostrich named Gertrude, hence gertibird.

      • tinao says:

        Well. usa today is not the most informed source. This is a very informed source right here. Good luck keepin up.

  22. Chuck M. says:

    A very naive, but honest question:
    Is there any possible connection or coordination with Ms. James’ investigation?
    I realize she’s going after real estate related fraud, but with two possibly titanic events in NYC, with the same cast of one character, it seems it’d be a helluva lot more efficient to combine indictments.

    • gertibird says:

      I had that thought too. The James civil suit against Trump has been very quiet lately. Given there are supposedly more than 30 financial fraud counts in the Bragg indictment it seems very possible, especially if Weisselberg has flipped. It seems like AG Bragg wouldn’t pursue a case against Trump that he was likely to lose, so it looks like it’s all, wait and see, to see what he has. I hope it’s a lot!

    • Peterr says:


      James is the AG who is investigating a civil case, while Bragg is the local district attorney in NYC handling a criminal case. Between the different jurisdictional issues (AG v Local) and civil/criminal differences, there’s no way these would be combined.

      • Chuck M. says:

        Alrighty then, a follow-up:
        Is there any reason the two, Bragg and James, and why not – Jack Smith, couldn’t communicate with each other?

        • timbozone says:

          They may very well have communicated with one another, particularly if there was a cross-jurisdictional request. In general, if a state prosecutor has uncovered what are likely federal crimes, do they generally refer those to the local Fed prosecutors (or DC in the case of DC only possible violations of the law)? I suspect that Federal prosecutors are less likely to refer minor suspected violations to state and county level prosecutors than the reverse.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        IF (big if) Weisselberg has flipped, which is what everyone else did when firing TrumpOrg funded attorneys, I think it would be more relevant to James’ case than Bragg’s. James is digging into inconsistencies in TrumpOrg financial valuations which the CFO would be a star player.

  23. Troutwaxer says:

    Question for bmaz: CNN just reported that there are 30 separate charges against Trump. This sounds like it involves a lot more than Stormy Daniels, and possibly involves other fraudulent behaviors by Trump/the Trump Organization, (or possibly obstruction.) Since it’s not just Stormy, does this change your opinion of the charges at all?

    • P J Evans says:

      I’ve seen comments elseweb that it may involve the McDougal catch-and-kill and the Enquirer. Which would explain the Enquirer guy showing up.

    • Peterr says:

      It could also include a separate charge or two for each of the 12 invoices Cohen submitted and Trump paid, to reimburse Cohen for the hush money payment to Daniels. That would ramp the number of charges up pretty fast.

  24. Paulka says:

    Not sure even charging him with the Stormy Daniels payment would be selective charging, as NC charged John Edwards for a similar payment to a mistress.

  25. Zirc says:

    I am not a lawyer and can’t claim to know the ins and outs of the law. I am not a Grand Juror and have no clue as to the quality and quantity of evidence it considered. I do know, however, that fourteen months ago two of Alvin Bragg’s senior prosecutors resigned because Bragg wasn’t willing to pursue an indictment of Trump then. Given that knowledge, I am inclined to give Bragg the benefit of the doubt as to the politicization of the charge(s). My question right now is: What changed in the last 14 months?


    • John Paul Jones says:

      Bragg didn’t think Pomerantz had the goods. Ryan Goodman at JustSecurity did a good analysis of Pomerantz’s claims, here –

      There’s an article up on Lawfare which notes (almost at the bottom of the article) that Pomerantz having published a book bitching about Bragg might create problems for any prosecution going forward:

      • Zirc says:

        The two links you provide, JPJ, are very interesting. But they don’t really answer my question, which is “What changed?” In the Lawfare article, we find this passage:

        At some point after Pomerantz’s departure, Bragg seemingly did a U-turn and decided to move forward with charges against Trump after all. It remains unclear what changed his mind. The Post suggested previously that it isn’t a question of smoking-gun new evidence, reporting that “It is unlikely that any new facts or witnesses have emerged since Cohen first publicly discussed the Daniels payment in 2018.”

        If there’s no “smoking-gun new evidence,” why did Bragg decide that he had a case after all?


      • timbozone says:

        Bragg wanted to wait for James’ state civil case to proceed further before bringing evidence between the criminal grand jury in NYC?

  26. vicks says:

    If true, is it reasonable to think there might be a connection between 31+ “charges related to business fraud” and Allen Weisselberg’s getting a new lawyer?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If one or more prison terms are in store for TFG, he’s more likely to have a dedicated wing at some Club Fed-like prison, or house arrest. He would never be imprisoned with the general prison population, and solitary would be both inhumane and unworkable for his USSS detachment.

      • P J Evans says:

        Not house arrest, unless he’s someplace with strict controls on access and limits on outside contacts.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Exactly. Policing it would be nightmare, but it’s what he’ll go to the mattresses to try to get, because he can pretend he’s not in prison.

        • FLwolverine says:

          How about someplace where he can see the golf course but can’t go out and play? Although in Trump’s case, that might qualify as cruel and unusual.

        • P J Evans says:

          I was thinking about some of the homes for the mentally challenged, usually called “memory gardens” or something similar.

  27. Fran of the North says:

    As always, the ‘wheel grounds me and rides herd on my baser instincts. While this might not be the indictment that has the greatest legal weight, it might be the crack in the dam that is the one-too-many for a serial conman to plug.

    My hope is that others leaks spring wide and the deluge begins.

  28. Bay State Librul says:

    What a fucking great metaphor.

    “The state indictments are just the picadors crippling the bull. Jack Smith will be the matador.”

    From a commentator at Charlie Pierce’s place

  29. AdaByron says:

    I am not a lawyer, so please do not jump on me if I use some legal term / concept incorrectly. I will try to explain with usual words what I mean.
    There is something that didn’t and still doesn’t make sense to me in the Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal’s stories. I do not think that these two ladies were the only mistresses Trump had while being married to Melania. Both affairs took place at least 10 years before his presidential campaign.
    What was so special about these two affairs that he decided to pay them off via a bunch of tricks to avoid them negatively affect his campaign?
    Is it possible that there are actually more payments like those two that were discovered during Alvin Bragg’s investigation and this is why the number of counts added up to 30?

    • timbozone says:

      The likely answer is, yep, this is how it has always been done, when it comes to covering up Trump’s peccadillo. If one follows the trajectory of both of these women’s experiences with the Trump organization, one would likely note that there was the use of fear too in attempting to keep them silent.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        “Peccadillo”–I like that so much better than Pecker. Or any of the other slang terms.

        As long as it’s hidden.

    • Skillethead says:

      I would think if there were others that Cohen knew about, he would bring them forward. Maybe he did. Just wondering if there is going to be any kind of surprise when the indictments are revealed.

  30. ExRacerX says:

    The timing is a bit surprising—I was (erroneously) expecting the Grand Jury to go on their pre-planned break without making a decision, thus leaving enough time for charges to be filed in other jurisdictions/investigations/cases.

    • Rayne says:

      That’s apparently what surprised “Mar-a-Lago and Trump advisors,” that the indictment didn’t follow the grand jury’s break.

      Instead they voted before heading out on spring break. Good for them, ensuring this was off their plates so they could focus on their own lives.

      • ExRacerX says:

        Thanks, Rayne. Trump’s recent praise of that particular Grand Jury is even funnier to me at this point.

    • timbozone says:

      Bragg also appears to have lucked out in that the indictment was publicly disclosed right after the Congress went into recess for two weeks. Like as in a few hours after the Congress went into recess.

  31. Willis Warren says:

    I’ll wait to see the charges but I’m skeptical that this will amount to anything. Hopefully it drags out past the other indictments, which I’m also fairly certain will happen

  32. The Old Redneck says:

    If this is only about the 130k to Stormy Daniels, I wouldn’t have brought this indictment. There is a plausible defense of just trying to protect my family, privacy, etc. The case is not exactly analogous to John Edwards – it’s a little stronger in some respects – but the same defense might work.
    The real interesting question, with Allen Weisselberg apparently flipping, is whether there’s more to it than that.

    • Rayne says:

      LOL so basically you’ve offered the universal excuse every GOP candidate can use for violating campaign finance laws: I was just protecting my family.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        An excuse long used by Mafia dons. Given the serial lack of care and interest Trump has shown his family members for decades – and his latest diatribes about disinheriting wayward family members – it’s a defense that reads better coming from a Mafia don.

        I know the issue is Trump’s motivation in 2016, not before or after. But if Trump cared so deeply about his family, why would he repeatedly have or pay for sex outside of his several marriages?

        I would think the defense would also open him up to cross examination about his pre-nup agreement with Melania, which might suggest not paying her more money was more of a motivator than his concern for her feelings.

      • The Old Redneck says:

        I’m not “offering.” This has nothing to do with what I personally think. I’m just trying to be realistic about a possible defense and the chance of getting a conviction.

  33. Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

    All decisions to indict/not indict by an ELECTED DA are definitionally political.

    • timbozone says:

      Yes, the whining about how DAs are being politically is nonsensical on its face. The law is political by its very nature. The question of the hour is whether someone is using the law and politics fairly or abusing the power they are given as an elected District Attorney. The words “politic”, “political”, etc, are many faceted diamonds of contention. One must hope that laws are fair and are fairly applied. And that the laws are just as well. And all of that is subject to interpretation.

  34. surfer2099 says:

    I posted the other day I thought prosecutors were dragging their feet on investigations.

    I am happy to be proved wrong and not afraid to admit it.

    1 in progress; many more to go.

      • Skillethead says:

        Good lord you are one miserable person. Surfer didn’t say “progress,” surfer said “in progress.” This is a great board with the incredible exception of you dumping on everyone you disagree with using schoolyard language.

        Grow up a little. I’m guessing I represent a lot of readers who otherwise like this site.

      • surfer2099 says:

        Hi there. Don’t need your “translation”. Don’t pass go, nor pick up $200, Surfer Boy.

  35. timbozone says:

    As pointed out by TV lawyers earlier today, Bragg has more grounds within the US Constitution to force Trump’s extradition to New York for arraignment than Georgia does. Apparently, Trump was a resident of New York when the bulk of the crimes to be alleged in the indictment charges allegedly occurred. This is not the case for Georgia, where Trump was not a resident at the time of any theoretical charges against him.

    Along those lines, and given how well off Thursday afternoon’s indictment went in NYC. Is it possible that Trump will fight against physically being arraigned in NY state on Bragg’s charges so that he is physically not in an “unfriendly” jurisdiction should Willis decide to drop the hammer on him?

      • timbozone says:

        Yes, extraditions are often an issue in criminal indictments, particularly when the defendant isn’t interested in “facing the music” soon…or so the Constitution, as interpreted by the TV lawyers, has me currently believing; the current law of the land isn’t going to afford Trump much Florida foot-dragging shelter from the NYC indictments Bragg just handed out, correct? But due to that TV lawyer discussion, I’m also now wondering how many folks involved in the Georgia case are avoiding Georgia at the moment. I mean, you might believe that they shouldn’t worry about Georgia…but then you can move in and out of Georgia without fear of being arrested and arraigned should you set foot in that state…

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Trump supposedly has already agreed to appear in NYC. If he has and he doesn’t, he’ll be treated as if he were a runaway, leading to a handcuffed arrest, after, no doubt, a contretemps or two with the USSS. It would invite the NY judge in his case to hold him in contempt, or not release him on his own recognize and place much more restrictive conditions on any release.

          None of those things favors Trump or his planned lengthy PR campaign. He wants to campaign as if he were a victim [of his own conduct], not be one.

        • timbozone says:

          True, Trump currently does have that “problem” with the pesky USSS detail. As I say, I expect him to be arraigned in NY (based on what the TV lawyers have said).

          As I think on this more, I can see why this whole “edge of crisis” state warrant scenario is not something that anyone who supports the current Federal system should be gleeful about. This is a very serious business of indicting and prosecuting ex-Presidents. Not quite as hairy as indicting sitting Presidents but it’s definitely got some potential issues that may require sorting out by Federal courts if laws and jurisdictions are not clearly delineated all up and down the line. While one assumes that USSS agents are briefed on their duties and legal responsibilities, etc, in great detail, expecting them to be interpreting their duty beyond the specific laws they may have been briefed on is a bit much. And I wouldn’t put it past Trump’s cadres to force them (and us) through the edge cases.

  36. missinggeorgecarlin says:

    I agree he’s a reprehensible person, but getting my PhD in Grifting from TU remains the high point in my academic career!

  37. pcpablo321 says:

    Random questions: Will the judge at Tuesday’s Trump arraignment be Judge Merchan? Can the judge at that arraignment add additional charges for intimidation because of the tweet of the baseball bat with DA Bragg’s photo, and/or/also issue a gag order because of Trump’s Twitter attack on Judge Merchan?

  38. Cosmo Le Cat says:

    I’m going to wait to see the charges and read the indictment before I form an opinion as to whether the indictment was justified or not. Bragg ran on the idea of stepping up enforcement of white collar crime and de-emphasize trivial misdemeanors. If Eric Garner got a death sentence for tax evasion related to selling loose cigarettes for 25 cents, then it seems appropriate to prosecute those who intentionally make false entries in corporate financial records, if indeed that is the charge.

    In the meantime, it’s fair to speculate on the number of counts/charges. My guess is there will 11 x 3 counts for each check/ledger entry, plus 1 count each for tax evasion, campaign finance violation and conspiracy, adding up to 36. IANAL.

    • Epicurus says:

      Per the following Bragg has been activate in charging people with what was formerly acceptable accounting mischief. Seems like a pretty good explanation of things while guessing at the actual indictment.

      I recently finished a book titled Resistance by Halik Kochanki (WWII European country resistance). Quite a remarkable book. The father of the Salon author above was a general in Italy at the time and is spoken about in the book.

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah? How many, out of how many possible? Any idea? Seems like absolute horse manure from Salon.

        Everybody wants to be the pro. Who has ever been in a jury trial? The “former federal prosecutors”? How many?

        Bragg is a hack, and a politically motivated one at that. Like Willis, this was his early stated destiny. This shit is a joke, PLEASE do not gleefully, because Trump, take it for more than that.

        Also, too, who is Lucian Truscott? What legal experience does he have? Please identify.

        • rattlemullet says:

          I am trying to understand your extreme negative assessment of Bragg being a politically motivated hack, does that assessment include the Manhattan Grand Jury and the process that selects the jury members? Are they presented false evidence? If so has it been corrupted prior to Bragg being the DA? Is the entire Manhattan DA office politically corrupted? Is your criticism apply to all state Grand Juries and not to Federal Grand Juries? You being an attorney have much more insight and understanding of the Grand Jury process than I as a layman would ever have.

        • rattlemullet says:

          Great Godfrey Daniel! What an incredible statement that is for for the American system of justice. Being sucked into the legal morass is the last place I would want to be. I look to this blog for hope in the judicial process, sadly there seems to be none with the entire justice system politically corrupted. How do you survive it? Better to be rich than poor when dealing with it.

        • bmaz says:

          Hi there. I honestly don’t care why you come to this blog. If it is to escape the “legal morass”, you are very much in the wrong place. Everything is “politically corrupted”? Seriously? What experience, if any, do you have with the “judicial process”?

          Please inform all of us.

          I survive just fine, thanks. As to your petty, and ignorant, “rich than poor” crap, go straight to fucking hell. You do not know me, and never will.

        • Rayne says:

          Gods help me, stop encouraging that crap by asking them to “inform all of us.” They can fucking do that on Twitter.

        • rattlemullet says:

          Good morning, in order, construction litigation, contract law, not trying to inform anyone here, “straight to fucking hell”, that is a town in Arizona to the best of my knowledge and prison demographics clearly illustrates the divide between rich and poor in regard to police enforcement, the courts and defense of the same. As to the “shit show in Manhattan”, I hope they convict the shit show of a former president on as many counts as possible, he and the people that elected him deserve that shit show. Thanks, I appreciate all your responses, truly, no matter how hostile. Finally never used twitter but I am familiar with how corrosive it is at spreading lies, especially now that Musk is the owner.

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