Former US President Donald Trump raised more than $4 million in the 24 hours following news of his indictment in the case involving porn star Stormy Daniels. The tycoon is accused of having paid the woman 130,000 dollars for her to keep silent about their past relationship, dating back to the times when he was recently married to Melania. Trump will appear on Tuesday in the courthouse in Manhattan, New York, for the formalization of the charges. According to his lawyers there will be a mugshot and fingerprinting, but no handcuffs and no admission of guilt. The hearing is set for 2.15 pm local time (8.15 pm in Italy)
Trump’s staff said that over 25% of the donations come from people who had never supported the tycoon before. A fact that “further consolidates President Trump’s status as a clear favorite in the Republican primaries”. Several fundraising emails were also sent from his offices and donations were also requested on the Truth Social platform.
Fear of riots in New York
There are no certainties about what will happen on Tuesday. According to Trump’s lawyers “there is no manual to see how a former US president accuses himself in a criminal court”. It is in fact the first time that a former tenant of the White House has been criminally charged in the US: a move which, however, according to the American constitution and laws, will not prevent him from continuing to run for the White House and from being elected. New York is already armored, with exceptional security measures in the most sensitive places, from the courthouse to the Trump Tower. The fear is that of accidents, after The Donald had incited his parents to protest and “take back the country”, evoking the risk of “death and destruction”. No word yet on whether Trump will appear in what he hoped to turn into an arrest show with the perp walk, the law enforcement practice of putting an arrestee in the pillory by making him walk in a public place for the use of photographers and television cameras. The Secret Service and law enforcement will probably try to ensure that everything is conducted in the strictest confidence before release on bail. Certainly the more than 30 charges of corporate fraud will be read to him, which the defense will try to have immediately dismissed, before the trial arrives: a number that portends a robust accusatory castle, but no one yet knows what cards he has in hand attorney Alvin Bragg.
The story and what Trump risks
The case revolves around the $130,000 paid to porn star Stormy Daniels so that she would not reveal her affair with the tycoon ten years earlier during the 2016 campaign. A sum paid by the then lawyer – and now super witness – Michael Cohen on Trump’s orders, who would have reimbursed him with company funds under the false heading of “legal expenses”, also violating the law on electoral funding. The risk is a fine, if it is considered a misdemeanor, or 1 to 4 years in prison if classified as a crime. Trump was taken aback by the indictment and was “initially shocked,” his attorney Joe Tacopina admitted, “but he’s ready to fight.”
The political implications
Also in the background is a dangerous clash of powers, with the Republicans in the House who want to investigate the New York prosecutor and the latter who is not intimidated: “Like any other defendant, Trump can challenge these accusations in court but neither Trump nor the Congress may interfere with the ordinary course of proceedings in the state of New York.” Now, however, the tycoon can present himself as a “martyr”, convinced that the “political exploitation of justice”, “electoral interference” and the “witch hunt” against him “will turn against Biden”, in a presidential race where – according to a survey by Marquette University – they are neck and neck with 38% each. With the Republican governor of Florida Ron DeSantis who remains at the window, defending the frontrunner but ready to take his place.