Donald Trump faces criminal charges in court after historic indictment

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Former owner of the Miss Universe pageant and ex-president of the United States of America Mr. Donald Trump faces criminal charges in court after a historic indictment. Former Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, who first began the investigation into former President Donald Trump's alleged role in hush-money payments but chose not to indict, said current DA Alvin Bragg "has done the work necessary to bring this case forward."

Vance told CNN's Jake Tapper Tuesday night, "I think there are factual allegations that at least myself personally, I cannot recall that we were aware of," in response to whether Bragg had collected any new evidence since Vance left DA's office. He added, "There's no doubt that district attorney Bragg has dug deep, believes in this case, and I think we need to have confidence that he has done the work necessary to bring this case forward." The former DA also commented on Trump's speech following his arraignment, calling his attacks on Bragg, as well as the judge presiding over the case, and their families, "legally risky."

Vance said Trump could run up against obstruction charges specific to the New York code which makes it illegal to obstruct government functions through threats or intimidation. "If that were to happen in a superseding indictment, it could turn a perceptually weak indictment on technical violations of law into something a jury would understand and be much more concerned about and elevate the strength of the overall indictment against the president," he said. It turned out, however, that the outlines of the case against him had already been widely discussed. The 34-count indictment targeted the hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. There were no charges of criminal conspiracy. There were no new crimes unearthed by the grand jury that remained hidden until the indictment was concealed. There was no expansive case. The cards were already on the table when Mr. Trump woke up in Manhattan on Tuesday. The case is what we thought it was, even if some of the evidence - of what prosecutors allege was a pattern of election influence - was new.

This suggests that the battle lines that had been forming over the past few days will only harden as the case proceeds toward trial. Republicans, who had been fairly united in their defense of Mr. Trump since he posted on social media that an indictment was looming, will stay unified. Even Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who voted to convict Mr. Trump in his two impeachment trials, released a statement saying that Mr. Bragg "stretched to reach felony criminal charges to fit a political agenda". "The prosecutor's overreach sets a dangerous precedent for criminalizing political opponents and damages the public's faith in our justice system," he said to BBC News.

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