( – The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has been looking into hush money payments for years.

And now, former president Donald Trump has been indicted.

The accusations are related to the $130,000 hush money payment that adult film star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, received from then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen in the run-up to the 2016 election in exchange for her silence regarding an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.

Although Cohen named Trump in his plea agreement, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York decided not to charge him with the Stormy Daniels payment in 2019. In 2021, the Federal Election Commission abandoned its inquiry into the situation.

One of the top prosecutors who resigned in protest claimed that when Bragg took over as district attorney in January 2022, he ceased pursuing charges against Trump and terminated the probe “indefinitely.”

Once Bragg started expressing uncertainty about bringing a case against Trump, prosecutors Mark Pomerantz and Carey Dunne, overseeing the investigation under former DA Cyrus Vance, offered their resignations.

Earlier this month, Trump highlighted stories that claimed he might be detained on Tuesday, March 21, and that they were based on what he called “illegal leaks.”

The House Judiciary Committee intervened when Trump wrote about those stories on his Personal Account, requesting that Bragg appears before the committee.

Republicans in the legislature and Trump allies denounced the inquiry as a political prosecution and a “weaponization” of the district attorney’s office.

This Monday, citing the former president’s Facebook Social post, Bragg charged that Trump “raised a false expectation” that his arrest was imminent. He also criticized the committee for conducting an “unusual inquiry into a pending local prosecution.”

Bragg’s letter to the committee stated, “The Letter only arrived after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be detained the next day, and his lawyers reportedly requested you to intervene. “Neither fact is a valid justification for a congressional investigation,”

The grand jury heard testimony from Robert Costello, a former legal counsel for Michael Cohen, last Monday. Costello described Cohen as a “serial liar” and said Trump was unaware of the payments Cohen made to Daniels.

But, on Wednesday and Thursday, Bragg called off grand jury hearings connected to the Trump investigation.

There was “significant dissent,” according to sources who spoke to Fox News Digital at the time, within the district attorney’s office. According to one source, the case’s ” weakness ” makes it difficult for the district attorney to persuade the grand jury to bring charges.

After pleading guilty to federal counts of tax evasion, lying to Congress, and campaign finance violations, Cohen received a three-year jail term in 2018.

To stop Daniels and model Karen McDougal from disclosing their alleged romances with Trump—which Trump has continuously denied—Cohen admitted to arranging payments to them.

Trump has consistently denied involvement in the payments and claimed that Cohen directed them.

McDougal received $150,000 from the owner of the supermarket tabloid, the National Enquirer. At the same time, Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 via his own business and requested reimbursement from Trump’s organization, which recorded the payments as “legal expenses.”

Federal prosecutors who brought the 2018 criminal accusations against Cohen for the payments claim that the Trump Organization “grossed up” Cohen’s reimbursement for Daniels’ payment for “tax purposes.”

Trump has consistently insisted that there was no impropriety to the payments to Stormy Daniels and that they were a “simple private transaction” rather than a “campaign violation.”

The payments were first made public in a Wall Street Journal report from January 2018 that claimed Cohen and Daniels’ attorney had signed a nondisclosure agreement to keep her from disclosing the alleged sexual encounter with Trump in the media.

However, Cohen, Trump, and even Stormy Daniels disputed the arrangement at the time.

Cohen claimed in January 2018 that the rumor about the supposed meeting between Daniels and Trump had been going around “since 2011.”

However, Daniels refuted the claims in a letter dated January 10, 2018, which Fox News was able to obtain and review.

In a statement, Daniels said, “I am announcing with total clarity that this is false. I recently became aware that certain news outlets are alleging that I had a sexual and/or romantic affair with Donald Trump many, many, many years ago. My interactions with Donald Trump were strictly restricted to a few public appearances.”

Trump was “gracious, professional, and a complete gentleman to me and EVERYONE in my presence,” according to Daniels in the letter she wrote after meeting him.

The letter stated, “Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are entirely incorrect. The truth is, these rumors are untrue. “If truly I did have a relationship with Donald Trump, trust me, you wouldn’t be reading about it in the headlines, you would be reading about it in my book.”

Yet, Daniels revised her Account in March 2018. Daniels asserted she had an unprotected sexual encounter with Trump once during an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes.”

The charges against the former president come after the Federal Election Commission dropped its case on the same issue in 2021 after it “failed by a vote of 2-2 to…find reason to believe that Donald J. Trump knowingly and willfully violated” federal election law with the $130,000 payment made to Stormy Daniels.

The Trump Organization and its chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg were charged with tax fraud due to the probe last year.

Weisselberg was charged with receiving almost $1.7 million in unreported remuneration, including rent for an apartment, car payments, and tuition.

Weisselberg, whose testimony helped convict the Trump Organization of tax fraud last year, was sentenced to five months in jail and five years of probation in January after entering a guilty plea.

The accusations against Trump coincide with a different probe by a special counsel investigating his alleged unlawful storage of secret documents from his time as president at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

In an unusual action in August of last year, the FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home as part of a probe into secret documents the former president is said to have taken from the White House.

The Justice Department’s investigation into the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, and that investigation were later given to special counsel Jack Smith by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

They were both looking into whether President Trump or other individuals or organizations interfered with the orderly transition of power following the 2020 presidential election, including the certification of the Electoral College vote on January 6, 2021.

Former Vice President Pence also kept confidential data at his home—an issue that the Justice Department is investigating—and President Biden is under special counsel investigation for his suspected inappropriate retention of sensitive records from the Obama administration.

The charges against Trump also come as New York Attorney General Letitia James keeps up her multi-year civil investigation into the Trump Organization to determine whether Trump and his business improperly overstated the value of assets on financial statements to obtain loans and tax advantages.

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