Donald Trump, the former president of the United States, is expected to appear in court Tuesday afternoon to face an indictment from a New York state grand jury. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges of falsifying business records and is determined to fight his case all the way.
The indictment stems from an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg into alleged hush-money payments made before the 2016 election to conceal an alleged decade-long affair. The indictment will become the first major criminal case against a former US president, setting off a fervent debate over Trump’s potential come-back to the oval office.
The allegations against Trump centre around illegally reimbursing his then-lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen for payments made via Cohen. Trump maintains he has not done anything wrong, stating that the current indictment and its related procedures are nothing but politically-motivated attempts to take him down. Despite this, he will appear in court to hear the charges against him.
In preparation for his arraignment, Trump made his way from Florida to New York this Monday, arriving at his Manhattan building, Trump Tower. On top of that, the former president has added defense lawyer Todd Blanche to his legal team. He will be presented before New York State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who presided over the previous trials involving current Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg.
The trial is being hotly contested, with the New York Young Republican Club organizing a rally on Tuesday morning, in support of the defendant, as well as other investigations into Trump’s involvement in potentially criminal activities.
The Trump Organization is an American-based, family owned and managed business conglomerate, headed by the former US president. Established by Donald Trump’s father Fred in 1923, the organization primarily engages in the construction and development of real estate, ranging from residential and commercial to golf courses and resorts. Though once a private company, it has since evolved into a public entity, consisting of numerous divisions, many of which are situated within the US while others have embarked on global expansions.
Michael Cohen is a 58 year-old former lawyer and fixer to Donald Trump, starting work for Trump in 2007. He has had several interactions with the president, as well as falling out and later rejoining the former president and his re-election campaign. During his time as the lawyer for Donald Trump, Cohen was involved in several cases, such as the Stormy Daniels case in which a payment of $131,000 was paid to Daniels to stop her from disclosing details about her alleged affair with Donald Trump. In addition, he was also involved with the Trump Organization, managing legal and public relation issues. Cohen pleaded guilty to tax fraud and was later imprisoned for committing a campaign finance violation as part of his agreement with the government.