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August 11, 2013
The indictment of former President Donald Trump will result in “injuries and deaths,” the porn star at the center of allegations against him warned on Friday.
Speaking to The Times in the United Kingdom, Stormy Daniels said she thought charges against Trump, who is accused of having an affair with her and arranging a $130,000 payment to buy her silence, will “continue to divide people.”
“Whatever the outcome is, it’s going to cause violence, and there’s going to be injuries and death,” she said.
“There’s the potential for a lot of good to come from this. But either way, a lot of bad is going to come from it, too.”
She was referring to concerns that Trump’s indictment will result in protests, with some right-wing supporters of his calling for “civil war.”
And she told the Times that she has received threats of violence since the news of the indictment broke on Thursday. She said she also received threats when news of the allegations was first aired.
“The number and the intensity is the same as it was the first time around, but this time it’s straight-up violent,” she said. “The first time it was ‘gold digger’, ‘slut’, ‘whore’, ‘liar’ whatever. And this time it’s ‘I’m gonna murder you’. They’re way more violent and graphic.”
“It’s vindication,” Daniels added. “But it’s bittersweet. He’s done so much worse that he should have been taken down [for] before. I am fully aware of the insanity of it being a porn star. But it’s also poetic; this p—y grabbed back.”
On June 3, 2011, the Democratic Party suffered a major scandal when a grand jury indicted former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina on six federal criminal charges. Edwards had been 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's running mate, and right-wing media outlets like Fox News were quick to hype the fact that someone who was facing those charges could have become vice president.
Outlets that are more sympathetic to Democrats, including MSNBC, extensively reported on Edwards' legal problems as well — but without Fox News' hysterical tone.
The charges against Edwards were serious; he could have spent 30 years in federal prison if convicted on all counts. But a decade later, a former president — Donald Trump — is potentially facing a lot more legal exposure.
On Thursday, March 30, 2023, Trump became the first former president in United States history to be indicted by a Manhattan grand jury. The indictment was sealed, but the following day, CNN reported that Trump, according to sources, was facing "more than 30 counts related to business fraud." The prosecutor overseeing that case is Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. who has been investigating hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016.
Simultaneously, Trump is facing separate criminal investigations that include two by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and special counsel Jack Smith and one by Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis.
The six federal charges that Edwards faced in 2011 and 2012 included a conspiracy charge, a charge of making false statements and four counts of illegal campaign contributions. On May 31, 2012, CNN reported that if Edwards were found guilty on all six counts, he could have received a 30-year prison sentence and a $1.5 million fine.
According to federal prosecutors, Edwards violated campaign laws in order to cover up an extramarital affair. The ex-senator's wife Elizabeth Edwards, who died in 2010, was suffering from cancer during the affair. A jury found John Edwards "not guilty" on one of the six charges, but the jurors could not come to an agreement on the other five — and the judge declared a mistrial. DOJ opted not to retry the case.
Trump is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday, April 4. Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney and "fixer," alleges that he paid $130,000 in hush money to Daniels on Trump's behalf in 2016 and was reimbursed by the Trump Organization. Possibly, the charges Trump will face will be similar to some of the charges that Edwards faced, but that remains to be seen. And whatever happens with the Manhattan DA's office, Bragg is by no means the only prosecutor who Trump needs to be worried about.
Smith, appointed by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, is conducting two Trump-related investigations at the same time: one pertaining to government documents being stored at Mar-a-Lago, the other on the January 6, 2021 insurrection and the events leading up to it. Meanwhile, Willis is investigating Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia and pressure officials into helping him. Trump claimed that the election was stolen from him in the Peach State, but Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — both conservative Republicans — maintained that now-President Joe Biden won the state fairly and that there was no evidence to support Trump's election fraud claims.
Some legal experts find it intriguing that the first indictment of Trump is connected to Bragg's investigation, as the probes being conducted by Smith and Willis involve more serious allegations — including efforts to overturn democratic election results. Never before had a U.S. president lost an election, falsely claimed that he didn't and gone to such extremes in order to stay in power.
When the January 6 Select Committee concluded in 2022, it recommended to DOJ four possible federal criminal charges for Trump: incitement to insurrection, obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and conspiracy to make a false statement. But DOJ has the option of either following or not following those recommendations.
No president or former president in U.S. history has had more legal exposure than Trump — not even Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal of the 1970s. Former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks, John Dean (who served as White House counsel under Nixon) and long-time Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (who reported on Watergate extensively) have all commented that the allegations against Nixon pale in comparison to all the scandals that have surrounded Trump. According to Wine-Banks, Dean, Woodward and Bernstein, Trump crossed lines that even Nixon wouldn’t have dared to cross.
After his resignation in August 1974, Nixon never ran for office again. Trump, however, is seeking the 2024 GOP presidential nomination while facing multiple criminal probes at the same time. And the Manhattan grand jury's indictment of Trump on March 30 may be only the tip of the iceberg.
The hush-money payments case against former President Donald Trump could be put at risk by the prosecution’s star witnesses, a legal expert has warned.
Shan Wu, a former federal prosecutor, wrote for The Daily Beast that the adult film star Stormy Daniels – the woman Trump is accused of having an affair with and organizing a payment of $130,000 to buy her silence – could put the trial in jeopardy.
"Daniels’ profession as a porn actress may make prosecutors worry that some members of a jury might hold that against her,” he wrote.
“Such prejudices have often made prosecutors — who are guilty of those prejudices themselves — hesitant about bringing cases in which female victims may have any association with sex industries."
Couple that with another key witness, Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen who was jailed after pleading guilty to charges of paying Daniels – and the trial against Trump is in no way a slam dunk, Wu says.
The defense will almost certainly attack the character and reliability of both, he wrote.
“The challenges with using both Cohen and Daniels as witnesses are easily managed with sufficient preparation time and careful strategizing on the part of the prosecutors. While the case originated some seven years ago, Bragg’s apparent sudden haste to bring charges raises questions about just how much time he devoted to thinking through his strategy and preparation.”
He added: “If Bragg gets this case to a jury, then it will not be a complicated story to tell. It’s simply the tale of a man who wanted to buy silence, as Trump has done successfully for decades.”