Former President Donald Trump has “no plans” of testifying in front of a grand jury as Democrats push to indict him.
Trump is facing an investigation over a $130,000 hush payment made to former pornstar Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential race.
Trump attorney Joe Tacopina told ABC news, “We have no plans on participating in that proceeding. Decision needs to be made still. There’s been no deadline set, so we’ll wait and see.”
Political hit job
The Stormy Daniels case is over five years old but Democrats see it as their best chance to nail the former President with something significant.
The case involves a $130,000 payment made to porn star Daniels by Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer at the time, to keep her quiet about allegations of an affair with Trump in the years before his first presidential run.
Trump has denied the affair, and said he didn’t authorize the payment to Daniels, even though Cohen has said he made the payment on Trump’s behalf.
The issue is that even if Trump is found guilty, the charge is a misdemeanor charge of falsifying business records. However, there is a chance that prosecutors could elevate the charge to a felony if they can prove an ‘intent to defraud’ on the part of Trump.
For the most part, the Stormy Daniel’s case is an insignificant technical transgression at worst. But it’s all Democrats have to throw at Trump, if they do indict him.
What it means for 2024
Democrats already impeached Trump twice while he was in office, but those efforts have done little to stop Trump’s impressive political power. They are now banking on a criminal indictment to finally break Trump’s hold on Republican voters.
Trump has defiantly stated that he has no plans of stepping away from his presidential campaign even if he is indicted, and some of his critics have admitted that an indictment might actually make him more popular instead of less.
However, a criminal indictment of Trump could make Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that much more appealing.
DeSantis is setting himself up as a younger version of Trump with less baggage both culturally and legally.
DeSantis has yet to confirm he is running in 2024 but his recent moves suggest that he is going to run, even if it means he has to go through the man who is largely responsible for his success.