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CNN: Why Trump could be facing at least one felony charge

A yearslong probe into a hush money scheme involving former President Donald Trump and adult film star Stormy Daniels has led to him being indicted by a Manhattan grand jury for his alleged role in the scheme, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. CNN legal analyst Eli Honig reports. #CNN #News


Let’s turn now to the Justice Department’s probe. This is a separate investigation into classified documents found at Mar a Lago. The Washington Post yesterday reporting this, that federal investigators have, quote, amassed fresh evidence pointing to possible obstruction by former President Trump. Here’s what The Post is reporting, that investigators now

Suspect the boxes of classified documents were moved from a storage area at Mar a Lago. This is after and this this matters the timing after the DOJ served a subpoena to recover those documents from Florida and that Trump personally, investigators believe, examined at least some of those boxes again after the subpoena.

Trump’s team only returned some documents with classified markings. An FBI search at Mar a Lago would later find more than 100 classified items that were not turned over, including top secret documents. The Post reports investigators have obtained emails and text messages of a former Trump staffer, and they give a detailed understanding

Of what was happening during those months. At Mar a lot. But more on that as we get it. Now, let’s get perspective on what’s happening, especially here in New York. CNN senior legal analyst and a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Mr. Elie Hoenig. Joins us now.

And we should point out that he also knows Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg personally here. So we just want to disclose that. Good morning to you. Let’s start with New York and Diamond we’re going to see this week. What are we learning about the charges that he might be facing? Basically,

What’s in the indictment, right. So we’ve not seen the indictment yet, but we’re getting really important indicators that give us a sense of what could be in there. First of all, Don, on Friday, the judge in this case issued the first official order in the case, basically just saying Alvin Bragg,

The D.A., can disclose that there’s an indictment. It will be unsealed on Tuesday. But this is really an important moment because we saw for the first time the case captured people of the state of New York against Donald J. Trump defendant. This is real. We also learned over the weekend

That there will be at least one felony charge in this indictment. There better be, by the way, if this is just a bunch of misdemeanors. The D.A. is going to have some serious questions to answer. But here’s what that could mean. It looks like some of the charges will relate to falsification

Of business records. The idea is they falsely log these payments as attorneys fees. But that would just be a misdemeanor. The less serious type of charge with a one year maximum. The dividing line between a misdemeanor and a felony, by the way, is one year. If it’s one year or less,

It’s a misdemeanor as the max. And if it’s above one year, then it’s a felony. How could they make this a felony if they can tie those business records to some other crime, to some second crime? And the theory here is that second crime could be a campaign finance violation. If prosecutors charge

And prove that it’s a Class E felony, the lowest level of felony in New York state, which has a maximum of four years. And finally, Don, we know from our reporting from John Miller and others here that the indictment is expected to have. 34 counts. That’s a lot. But each individual

Entry in the business records could be its own count. You’ve heard a lot of the Trump folks out this week in the attorney saying that they’re going to fight this, they’re going to seek to dismiss this. What kind of legal tactics will they use to do that? They’re not playing this one

Very close to the vest. They spent a lot of the weekend talking to Dana Bash and others about their strategy. They are going to argue that legally we are in state court here in New York state court. You cannot charge a violation of a federal election law. This is a presidential election

Under state law. And if they do that, by the way, they could knock out this because that other crime is the federal election violation, leaving them with only a misdemeanor. So that’s going to be a really important argument. We also know from listening to Trump’s lawyers this weekend, they’re going to argue

There was no intent to defraud here. Meaning in most business records cases, somebody takes a record, falsifies it, gives it to somebody else in order to steal money. That’s not the case here. It’s a little different scenario. They’re going to argue that as well. Trump’s team is also going to argue

Statute of limitations, meaning you typically have five years from the time of felonies committed to charge it, two years for a misdemeanor. Now we’re beyond both of those time periods. However, they are going to be rescued here because prosecutors are going to be rescued because there’s a New York law

That says you can pause that time period when someone’s living continuously out of state. Trump has lived in the White House and Mar a Lago. And then finally, I am certain that Trump’s team and they’ve more than signaled this is going to argue selective prosecution. They’re going to say he’s been singled out

For political purposes. That’s a really difficult argument to succeed using their John Edwards argument, right? Yes. This case. Right. What about the judge? Because Trump has talked about the judge. What about the judge in this case? We know. So the judge here, Juan Mershon, by the way, let me just point out

This is called New York Supreme Court. A little bit confusing. That’s what they call the trial level court here in New York. The judge is a former prosecutor. He was with the DA’s office, same office. It’s prosecuting this case. And the AG’s office let me say, nothing unusual or inappropriate about that.

Many judges are former prosecutors. He’s been on the bench since 2006, best known before this because he presided over the case against Allen Weisselberg, who pled guilty and the trial of the Trump Organization. Trump’s lawyers, by the way. They object to this because the way this judge got put on

This case is prosecutors said it’s related to these cases, so he should get it as opposed to just going to the wheel for random assignment. Watch for Trump’s lawyers to challenge that and say this should not be related to that. We should get a randomly assigned judge. And finally, don,

The judge has to make his first really big decision probably today about whether he’ll allow cameras in the courtroom for tomorrow’s proceeding. We at CNN are part of a group of media outlets that have asked the judge, let us see it open up the courtroom. It’s a public proceeding. Let the cameras in.

He’ll have to decide that soon. Do you think that will happen? You know, he has a history of not allowing cameras in, but given the level of public interest here, I don’t see how he says no. I think it’s I think he look, if I can opinion for a second,

He should let cameras in because the public interest in this is through the roof. Really. All right. Ellie Hoenig, thank you very much. Appreciate that.




  1. Good-by Don Lemon, we will miss you, looks like Poppy Harlow personalized your quotation on women's health because she is menopausal, the facts are substantiated by many Endocrinological Reviews showing a significant number of women between 30,40, and 50 start their menopause earlier! Looks like this was personal for Poppy, sorry they let you go, bad choice CNN!!

  2. This just political cause what are talking here? Couple thousand hush money that is not illegal. Trump is not first one paying someone for their silence. Maybe Cohen filed the money exchange wrong but this charges is BS.

  3. Wait a sec let me get my calculator ok 34 felonies but Trump at least, he could , he might get one? If that's the case Democrats you never fail to amaze me 🙀.

  4. The Media finally found something to increase their Ratings. Boyyy are they working overtime. Without Trump they won't make it.

  5. The Honorable D.A. Alvin Bragg's astute awareness of intellect, experience, integrity, entrepreneur extraordinaire, achieving great resolutions for the Building Back BETTERMENT OF AMERICA, AND FOR ALL THE PEOPLE AND SOCIETY WORLDWIDE!! A job well done is very satisfying, Thank you, SIR, & THANK YOU CNN FOR THE TRUTH!! THING-ALLE-LULU-LULU-YUH! ENJOY!! >The "THING" Lyrics by Joe Biden, Music by Hannah Hoffman < ENJOY!!

  6. Melania knew all about the Twump girl-friends, she probably helped to set-up the dates. She's a trained, cold blooded Russian Agent who still talks to putin once a week. We have never seen any emotion from her even after she had all the 'George Washington Cherry Trees' cut down around the White House garden. She most likely had copies of the Top Secret Files sent to Putinski. Between the two of them, they are the perfect Russian Family. Any wonder why Twump tried to end NATO or Treaties, and calling Putin a hero for invading Ukraine?

  7. Spoiler alert the statue of limitations does not allow any of these cases to be brought to trial CNN is just wasting your time trying to feed you there propagandist narrative because CNN is unamericans pieces of communist scum

  8. This move by the local, Soros DA against former President Trump is a move against any political opposition to the Democrat Party. No president or former president has ever been indicted. In 1998 President Clinton paid Paula Jones $850,000, but being a Democrat meant no charges. Campaign Finance is a federal issue, not a local one. Soros's stooge has no authority here. I expect a federal judge to throw out this Democrat political action.

  9. Trump is try'n find a way to ease the pain
    Eric's makin' plans to run the next campaign
    Donald Junior's cookin' up some crack cocaine
    Jared's got Ivanka turnin' tricks again
    Let's rock!
    Ever'body let's rock!
    Ever'body in the Trump cell block!
    Learnin' how to break them rocks!

  10. Birds of a feather flock together. The behaviors and actions of Trump for decades have demonstrated he has no dignity, no integrity, and no character. Those who have been blindly loyal to Trump have been facing legal bills and possibly jail time for supporting him on January 6 insurrection. Trump has been living free and his legal bills have been paid by his blindly loyal donors. A con artist thinks of ways to scam money from stupid people. Have these donors ever thought they have been fooled by Trump? Have they ever thought Trump has laughed at their stupidity and thinks of ways to collect their money through fundraising? Investigators are doing their job to collect evidence when people conduct unlawful activities. The grand jury, Judge, and prosecutors are also doing their duty. If Trump did not conduct illegal activities, there would be no investigation. Trump should blame himself instead of others. The court system has records of Trump's lawsuits before, during, and after his presidency. Donald Trump has pleaded the Fifth Amendment's protection against self-incrimination more than 100 times as he was deposed. No decent parents would want their children to have a teacher like Donald Trump. No one is above the law. This is to uphold the rule of Law! If Trump is innocent, he should go to trial to prove the prosecutors are wrong. It's a no-brainer for Trump not to do it.

  11. CNN and so many others got this so wrong 34 felony indictments once again people quit listening to all the idiots out there quit listening to these people that have no clue and no understanding about the law and how it works all these all these lawyers these experts giving their opinions nobody had a clue

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