People v. Trump


Elijah Henry, Reporter

On April 4, 2023, Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States stepped foot into a Manhattan courthouse. He was formally arrested and his fingerprint was documented, turning himself in after being accused of 34 counts of falsifying business records. This is the first ever indictment of a United States president. 

In the last days of the 2016 presidential election, an adult film star by the name of “Stormy Daniels” spoke out about an alleged affair with Donald Trump during his reality TV star days. AsTrump did not want news to spread about the affair, Daniels was given hush money by Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. According to prosecutors, “Trump was a part of an illegal conspiracy to undermine the integrity of the 2016 election.” They believe that Trump was part of a plan behind the scenes to suppress any negative information spread about him, including the $130,000 hush-money payment paid to the actress. 

In the beginning of this issue, Trump denied any wrongdoings and would not comment further. However, the grand scheme behind this has been unraveled. Cohen set up a “shell company” in order to forward the money towards Daniels under the radar. According to Cohen, the payment of approximately 130,000 USD was for “tax purposes” and it was a “legal purchase.” According to APNews, not only Daniels was paid hush-money by Trump, a model by the name of Karen McDougal was paid as well, totaling to $150,000. 

Trump and Cohen worked directly together to pay them through other companies. Cohen also created recordings of Trump and himself working together talking about how they would pay McDougal through the National Enquirer, a celebrity gossip magazine. 

Although there are recordings and evidence of Trump falsifying the logs of the business’ expenses, he entered a plea of not guilty in the Manhattan criminal court. If he is given the title of guilty by the courthouse, he will likely not receive prison time as according to Yahoo News, first time offenders for falsifying business records likely do not receive time. 

What does this mean for Trump politically? Well, as for being the first president to ever be indicted, it may take a serious toll on his reputation and for how people see him. However, being indicted does not mean he cannot run for office, which he still intends to do in 2024. 

There is still more news to come in the so-called People v. Trump case, as with other accusations and investigations, this case could turn into a long slideshow.