You can read Alvin Bragg’s indictment of Donald Trump and a supporting statement of facts here. The indictment is what we expected. It all has to do with paying $130,000 to Stormy Daniels for a non-disclosure agreement, which was legal. The payment was made by “Lawyer A,” Michael Cohen. Trump reimbursed Cohen using Trump’s own money, which was legal. The “34 counts” arise out of the fact that by agreement, Cohen got reimbursed by sending monthly invoices to Trump or his revocable trust. So for each monthly bill from Cohen, we get three counts of falsifying documents: one for the invoice, one for the ledger entry, and one for the check stub. Pathetic.
The indictment alleges that all of this was done “with intent to defraud and intent to commit another crime and aid and conceal the commission thereof,” but it never says what that other crime was. The second crime is mandatory because without it, falsifying a business record under New York law is a misdemeanor on which the statute of limitation has run. Presumably the second crime is alleged to be a campaign finance violation. But the payment to Daniels did not violate the campaign finance laws.
Bragg’s statement of facts includes a long narrative about the National Enquirer and a woman other than Ms. Daniels (“Woman No. 1”), but that appears to be solely for lurid context, as no count of the indictment relates to that alleged woman.
So nothing surprising happened today. The principal question at this point is, which Democrats should Republican prosecutors indict first?
UPDATE: You’ve got to hand it to Trump. After the fiasco in New York, he flew back to Florida and delivered a speech at Mar-a-Lago that was terrific. He didn’t talk primarily about Alvin Bragg’s ridiculous indictment, but rather reviewed the history of left-wing deception from the Russia collusion hoax onward. It was a bravura performance of the kind that Joe Biden couldn’t have dreamed of, even before he became senile. No teleprompter, no notes, a firm command of the facts, and a devastating theme: the Democrats have not just been lying nonstop, but have been attacking America for years.
Well done, President Trump.