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Trump indicted in Stormy Daniels hush-money case, likely to surrender

What next: His fingerprints and mugshot will be taken like any defendant in criminal cases. Arrest is unlikely (Florida Governor can block any warrant, complicating matters). Trump's attorney Tacopina said Trump will turn himself in.

Can Trump contest presidential election? Yes. There is no existing US law to bar him. He can even serve as President from prison.

The loophole: The Grand Jury has no documentary evidence as the NDA was not signed either by Trump or Cohen (Trump's attorney who turned hostile) on his behalf. It is depending on the testimony of Cohen and Daniels.

Where do Republicans stand: At any rate, the 'stormy petrel' has cooked Donald Trump's presidential goose, although he thinks otherwise. The Republicans are a divided lot.

by RM Nair

NEW YORK CITY, March 31: Former US President Donald Trump has been indicted by the Manhattan Grand Jury in the case relating to the hush-money payment made to adult actress Stormy Daniels during the campaign for the 2016 presidential election which he had won.

Trump, 76, is the first-ever former US President to be indicted in a criminal case. He has denied all charges.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office has stated that Trump's attorney Joe Tacopina was told after the jury voting on Thursday evening to "co-ordinate his surrender." He is likely to be ordered to appear in the State of New York Supreme Court in Manhattan on Tuesday next when he will be chargesheeted. But no date has been officially stated yet, nor the charges been disclosed, Tacopina said. His fingerprints and mugshot will be taken like any defendant in criminal cases. Arrest, handcuffing and a 'prep walk' are unlikely. An order for extradition, if any, can be thwarted by Florida Republican Guv Ron DeSantis, making the process extremely complex. Instead, Tacopina has told the attorney's office Trump himself will come and surrender. Trump's hometown is New York, but he has been living in Florida after leaving the White House.

Trump reacted to the indictment: The Attorney is "doing Joe Biden's dirty work". His lawyer said 'he is ready to fight."

Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, had earlier denied all charges of political vendetta.

President Joe Biden remarked: “I have no comment on Trump.”

Donald Trump will face criminal charges in the 2016 case of the $130,000 hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels, officially named Stephanie Gregory Clifford, now 44. The Grand Jury voted to indict Trump after investigating the payment to silence her over an alleged affair with him which was not disclosed as electoral expense. The payment was made during the presidential campaign and just days before the 2016 election. The affair relates to 2006.

Can Trump contest presidential election 2024?

As of now there is no US law (but there have been legislative moves towards that in recent times) that prevents a candidate, who is indicted or found guilty of a crime, from campaigning or serving as President, even from prison. However, the developments can upend his campaign, but he hopes otherwise.

Stormy Daniels will dance

Stormy Daniels had tweeted Tuesday last week she will “dance down the street” of New York if Trump is jailed.

The case

The charge against Trump before the New York Grand Jury relates to the hush-money Daniels was paid by Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen (who turned hostile) during the 2016 presidential election campaign lest his prospects in defeating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton were harmed by her planned disclosures about relationships with Trump. During the 2016 campaign she was planning to sell the story of her affair with Trump of 2006 to media. Trump got wind of it and his aides were deployed to silence her. Cohen admitted in his testimony to the Grand Jury he gave the money to Daniels for an agreement to silence her. This amounted to hiding matters from the voters to prevent any harm to his electoral prospects if Daniels published the stories, which is a violation of the election law in the State (charge No 1).

More serious and more relevant to the case is that the unaccounted payment during campaign amounted to a violation of the State's electoral law - because as it was done to hide issues from the voters, it is legally an election expense. (charge No 2).

Trump while reimbursing Cohen the $130,000 Cohen paid on his behalf to Daniels, logged it in his business records as legal expenses, which is a falsification of accounts (charge No 3).

Committing a criime (falsifying records) to cover up another crime (hiding electoral expenses) is a more serious felony. (charge No 4)

The payment in itself or the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) is not at all illegal. An NDA or non-disclosure agreement is a binding contract between two or more parties that prevents sensitive information from being shared with others. NDAs are very common for personal and business purposes in the US.

However, the Grand Jury has no documentary evidence as the NDA was not signed either by Trump or Cohen on his behalf. This had been disclosed earlier in a court in connection with another case.

Michael Cohen has already been in federal prison for campaign finance violation related to the payment he made to Daniels on behalf of Trump.

The NDA in court

In March 2018 Daniels sued to be released from the NDA made 11 days before the election in 2016. The case was dismissed (gone in her favour) as the agreement was deemed unenforceable. The California judge ordered Trump to pay legal fees to Daniels. Daniels' suit alleged President Trump "purposely did not sign the agreement so he could later, if need be, publicly disavow any knowledge of the Hush Agreement. He failed to put his name on their contract," she said.

The existence of the nondisclosure contract had become known after The Wall Street Journal reported it.

Karen McDougal payment

Another payment was made on similar lines to another alleged Trump paramour by the publisher of The National Enquirer David Pecker. Trump's alleged former mistress Playboy model Karen McDougal received $150,000 from Pecker’s company.

'Potential death and destruction'

A letter threatening to kill 'Alvin' (Attorney Alvin Bragg) was found at the Manhattan District Attorney's office on March 24. Same day on his social media, Truth Social, Trump had warned if he were to be indicted it could result in "potential death and destruction."

Trump's message to supporters

Trump had last week called on his supporters to "protest" and "take our nation back" if he is indicted. He posted on his social media site, 'Truth Social', on March 18 after he predicted that the indictment would come on March 21:- "...Now illegal leaks from a corrupt & highly political Manhattan District Attorney's office, which has allowed new records to be set in violent crime & whose leader is funded by George Soros, indicate that, with no crime being able to be proven, & and based on old & fully debunked (by numerous other prosecutors!) fairytale, the far & away leading Republican candidate & the former President of the United States of America, will be arrested on Tuesday of next week. Protest, take our nation back!"

Security outside Manhattan court had been ramped up as also in Washington DC as a precaution even before Trump had on March 18 called on his supporters to stage protests if he were indicted. There had also been online threats against legal and Government officials, especially against the Manhattan District Attorney.

No full support to Trump from Ron DeSantis, Kevin McCarthy

House of Representatives Speaker (Republican) Kevin McCarthy and other party leaders are rallying around Trump. But McCarthy called for calm among supporters. He tweeted on Tuesday: "Here we go again - an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump. I'm directing relevant committees to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions."

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, also a likely GOP presidential candidate, while disagreeing with the investigation, also did not fully support Trump.

Trump had reportedly raised $1.5 million after his indictment prediction in just three days.

Opinion is divided on the impact of the indictment on his campaign. Trump claims a wave in his favour.

Trump's other cases

Trump is facing several other criminal investigations at the State and Federal levels like his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in the State of Georgia, his handling of classified documents and his possible involvement in the January 6 rioting, apart from other tax and business litigation.

Trump twice impeached

Trump was twice impeached by the House of Representatives and was acquitted by the Senate.


SELECTIONS FROM OUR ARCHIVES

The killing of a teacher in France by an Islamic radical last Friday is linked to the Israel-Hamas war in West Asia, say authorities.

Shocking news from the UK: Leading grocers have started bribing policemen with free food and drinks to persuade them to take action against shoplifters.

Shoplifting has risen by about 27 per cent in 10 major cities across the UK this year. The cost of retail crime last year was $2.15 billion. Besides, “We are seeing organised gangs threatening staff with weapons and emptying stores," Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said. Data shows that the police failed to respond to 73 per cent of serious retail crimes that included assault and abuse of workers, apart from shoplifting.

Isar Mohammad allegedly picked up a banana offered to Ganesh idol on Chaturthi at a makeshift temple in Delhi and consumed it.

Harris said hip-hop is “the ultimate American art form” that “shapes every aspect of American popular culture.” “Hip-hop culture is American culture,” she said in a talk at her official residence at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

The social media had mixed reaction. There was much appreciation that she dances better than any VP in American history. But some called her "moves" as “cringe” while others did not like her pink pants - "pink pants don’t look good.” In fact, her ensembles have always been incongruous.

"Let’s see how the (Governor's) Vice-Chancellors are given salary." Mamata's extreme statements will put the Marxist Government in Kerala, which is also facing similar issues, to shame. Has she begun the countdown for a war on the streets?

It's true Mamata has come to see a conspiracy to demolish the established systems across the country, but lacks the ability to foresee what exactly is being pushed.

Brandishing a sword, Mahant Paramhans told reporters on Tuesday he himself will behead MK Stalin's son for his remarks against Sanatan Dharma in case nobody came forward to accept his offer he made in his video. Udhayanidhi reacted to the saint's Monday video, "I will speak more. I am the grandson of the artist who put his head on the rail track for Tamil Nadu."

Somanath elaborated, "I am an explorer. I explore the Moon. I explore the inner space. So it's a part of the journey of my life to explore both science and spirituality. So I visit many temples and I read many scriptures. So try to find the meaning of our existence and our journey in this cosmos. So it's a part of the culture that we are all built to explore, find out the inner self as well as outer self. So for the outer, I do science, for the inner I come to temples." (See videos)

Rao the mathematical legend had fathered the path-breaking Rao-Blackwell theorem, one of the most important theorems in mathematical statistics, at the age of 25. That brought him global fame. He is also famous for his Cramér-Rao Bound inequality theorem relating to quality of estimators in statistics which has had a profound bearing on applications of modern economics and several other diverse fields. Simply put, with the pioneering statistician computation became a tool to analyse even socio-economic challenges of modern times.

The ISRO said on Thursday evening that after rolling out from Vikram lander to the Moon's surface in the previous night, Pragyan's rover mobility operation commenced during the day on Thursday. The exploration has started.

Chairman Somanath said everything is working very well.

The rover will mainly study the mineral composition of the moon, the ions and water ice***, its atmosphere and any seismic activities.

Chandrayaan-3 had successfully landed on the Moon's south pole on Wednesday at 6:03 pm as per schedule, making India the first country ever to touch down on the polar surface.

The alleged incident has received such a flash publicity that a standardised city's hugely middle class population will have second thoughts about eating outside for some time. Now everything on the table looks suspicious!

“All subjects directly connected to the people should be shifted to the State List. Particularly the subject of education. Only if this is done can cruel exams like NEET be abolished,” Stalin said. Education was moved from the State List to the Concurrent List with the 42nd Constitution Amendment made by the Central Government in 1976.

Decentralisation has been at the core of Tamil politics since the times of CN Annadurai. Stalin indicated there will be political changes in the offing.

TAILPIECE: While the Centre and the States are at loggerheads, it takes a different cognitive acumen to know that entrance tests are not the way for students' admission to courses.

A University of Florida Professor, Harrison Hove who was on the flight, posted on social media that the incident was "terrifying." He said, "I've flown a lot. This was scary ... The photos cannot capture the burning smell, loud bang or ear pops ... Something failed midflight and depressurized the cabin."

As recently as Tuesday Craig Robertson had posted on Facebook: "Perhaps Utah will become famous this week as the place a sniper took out Biden the Marxist." Biden was scheduled to make his first visit to Utah as President Wednesday afternoon.

  • Let's Go! The legal immigrants should be allowed the flexibility to change jobs and travel without obstacles. Doing away with the country cap on Green Cards only can do this easily.
  • Bureaucratic delays in the US legal immigration system are also a drag on the country's economy while leaving so many families in limbo, the Congressmen argued.
  • In fact, the country cap was introduced to ensure diversity of immigrants as well as to prevent monopoly by any one country like China leading to distortions in the American culture and politics in course of time.
  • In any which case, it is high time the US straightened its convoluted immigration laws for their own convenience and to allow the immigrants their basic rights!

Maruti is recalling 87,599 S-Presso and Eeco vehicles to inspect and possibly replace parts in the steering system. All reputed companies around the world do recall their products when a defect comes to light.

Meanwhile, a question arises why just in about a year so many accidents have taken place involving Mercedes sent to India while the car has won safety awards abroad? In most cases, the vehicle collided with divider, while manoeuvring a turn. Was there a split second delay in the steering system coming to a grip when at high speed? Did anybody in India bother to study a pattern in several of these accidents that took place one after other?

Former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry died when his Mercedes-Benz-SUV hit a divider in Gujarat. Cricketer Rishabh Pant's Mercedes-Benz-SUV rammed a divider in Uttarakhand and smashed. It went up in flames but he escaped with injuries. Brother of PM Narendra Modi, Prahlad Modi's Mercedes-Benz-SUV met with a similar accident in Mysuru. And many more.

  • Experts blame violation of the Visual Flying Rules (VFR) for most of the chopper crashes in the mountains as the leading cause. VFR means fly only visually - because of the lack of navigation aids in remote areas or unreliability of GPS-like aids in hilly terrains or a remote manipulation of instruments in cases of sabotage - as the topography plays havoc especially in the monsoon (mid-June to September).
  • Even when VFR is followed, most crashes occur due to CFIT (Controlled Flight into Terrain) - that is, everything else is OK but the aircraft collides with hills or trees hidden by the clouds. This also occurs mostly in the monsoon.
  • On Tueday with Manang, the chopper was brand new, pilot was highly experienced. But it hit an 'invisible' tree and then crashed against a hillside. This CFIT occurred when the pilot tried to dodge patches of clouds even as he was following the VFR.
  • Simply put, everyone knows flying in the hills during the monsoon is risky, but the companies want to make more money in any which case. This type of tragedy is very frequently invited in the Indian hill State of Uttarakhand as well, where pilots are even made to fly without the mandatory rest.

The new offer will enable H-1B speciality occupation visa holders in the US to apply for a Canadian work permit, while also offering study and work permit opportunities for their family members accompanying them.

The selected applicants will be granted an unrestricted work permit for a maximum period of three years. The IRCC will entertain 10,000 applications. The window is open for one year.

  • Curfew was clamped on areas in Paris on Thursday lasting till Monday. The police apprehend an escalation of volence in the coming days. There will be "actions targeted at the forces of order and the symbols of the State", they said.
  • Under present law, the police have brute powers to deal with traffic violators. Young Nahel was shot point-blank by a cop for purported traffic violation and an anticipated crime.

Way back when on June 20 EST after searches were launched, India Travel Times had, on an analysis of the data available, indicated the probability of Titan undergoing a sudden and massive implosion (inward collapse) at great depths. (SEE: Titanic expedition goes missing: A ray of hope from sounds of bang) Now videos taken by a Canadian robot that reached the floor on Thursday evening, June 22, has confirmed it. The fragments are lying scattered. Horizon Arctic's ROV robot found the debris 1600 ft from Titanic bow.

The submersible imploded at 500 metres above sea bed, if we go by our calculations. The water pressure it had to withstand at that point was 2,345 kg per sq inch. The hull was not built to take that, as per the court cases fought by concerned people at the time of building the sub and going by the details revealed in the cancellation of booking by at least one ocean expert.

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