Five senior officials who are familiar with the preparations have disclosed that local, state, and federal law enforcement and security agencies are getting ready for a potential indictment of former President Donald Trump as soon as next week. The agencies are in talks about potential security measures for the Manhattan Criminal Court and its surroundings, should Trump be charged in relation to a supposed hush money payment made to Stormy Daniels.
NBC News reported:
Law enforcement agencies are conducting preliminary security assessments, the officials said, and are discussing potential security plans in and around the Manhattan Criminal Court, at 100 Centre Street, in case Trump is charged in connection with an alleged hush money payment to Stormy Daniels and travels to New York to face any charges.
The officials stress that the interagency conversations and planning are precautionary in nature because no charges have been filed.
The agencies involved include the NYPD, New York State Court Officers, the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the officials said.
In 2016, just before the US presidential election, it was revealed that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, had paid $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, as part of a nondisclosure agreement (NDA). The NDA was related to an alleged sexual encounter between Trump and Daniels that took place in 2006, when Trump was married to his current wife, Melania.
In 2018, Daniels filed a lawsuit seeking to be released from the NDA, arguing that it was invalid because Trump had not signed it. In response, Trump’s legal team argued that he was not a party to the agreement and that Daniels was already free to talk about the alleged affair. However, Trump’s lawyers also filed a motion seeking $20 million in damages from Daniels for violating the NDA.
Later that year, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws by making the payment to Daniels, and he admitted that he had done so at the direction of then-candidate Trump. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison, and Trump denied any wrongdoing.
The investigation into the alleged hush money payment continued, and in July 2019, federal prosecutors in New York announced that they had closed the investigation without bringing any charges against Trump or anyone else involved in the matter. However, the case remained in the news and it was speculated that Trump could potentially face charges if he was no longer president.
If former President Donald Trump is indicted in connection to the alleged hush money payment made to Stormy Daniels, it could have significant political and legal implications, especially for his 2024 campaign.
From a legal standpoint, an indictment would require Trump to mount a defense and could potentially result in a conviction and sentencing. The investigation into the alleged hush money payment has been ongoing for years, and an indictment would signal that prosecutors believe they have sufficient evidence to bring charges.
The preparations being made by law enforcement agencies suggest that they are taking the possibility of an indictment seriously. However, it is important to note that no charges have been filed yet, and the conversations and planning are currently precautionary in nature.