Former President Donald Trump Indicted with 34-count of Felonies

Katie B., Digital Artist

On April 4th, 2023, former President Donald J. Trump was indicted by District Attorney Alvin Bragg. With the trial set for Manhattan, New York, Trump faces 34 counts of felonies for “Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree.”

Trump’s main alleged crime is a “catch-and-kill” scheme that had been performed since 2015 and went on up until 2017. A catch-and-kill scheme is described as a business or corporation making payments to specific individuals in order to conceal degrading information about a third party. In this case, the business is American Media Inc (AMI), and the third party is Donald J. Trump. Trump operated this catch-and-kill scheme through a series of payments that were covered up through shell companies and false business entries. 

According to the Manhattan District Attorney, Trump concealed negative information about himself during the 2016 election in order to up his reputation and public view. He orchestrated this by finding degrading information and buying the individual to keep their silence. As far as the 34 felonies go, the largest payment was $30,000 from AMI to a Trump Tower doorman who allegedly had a story about a child that Trump had without being married to the mother. An even more pricey payment was paid to a woman claiming to have a sexual relationship with the former president. The hush money (money given to ensure someone will not leak information) counted up to $150,000.

These payments and more are said to be used to peak Trump’s performance during the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton. After winning the election, Trump paid back AMI through several payments which his Special Counsel advised to pay through a shell company. A shell company doesn’t have employees, create revenue, or create products. Instead, they act as a place to store money and complete financial transactions. These types of companies can be used for illegal trade deals often. As the Manhattan District Attorney states

11 checks were issued for a phony purpose, nine of which were signed by Donald J. Trump himself. 

In all, Trump was charged with 34 counts of Falsifying Business Records in the first degree, allegedly to cover up a crime of a catch-and-kill scheme. The attorney also states that “The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.” Trump’s hearing is set for January 2024, in Manhattan, New York. 


For more information, check out these sites:

Manhattan District Attorney Statement:    -former-president-donald-j-trump/ 

ABC News: