• Show Notes

Dear Reader,

Equal justice under law. Those are the words etched into the facade above the entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court.  They mean that in the justice system, no one is treated any better or any worse than anyone else. For Donald Trump, those words mean that he doesn’t get a pass on criminal charges just because he’s a prominent political figure. 

On Tuesday, prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office unsealed the long-anticipated indictment against Trump. The 34 counts accuse the former president of falsifying business records to conceal violations of election and tax laws. According to a statement of facts filed along with the indictment, a complex series of financial transactions were part of a scheme to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election by suppressing from the public negative information about Trump. The charging documents allege that Trump paid hush money to three individuals in exchange for their silence about extra-marital affairs, using shell corporations and financial transactions disguised as legal fees. According to the charges, Trump paid off individuals that have been identified as adult film actress Stormy Daniels, former Playboy model Karen McDougal, and even a Trump Tower doorman who claimed that Trump had fathered a child out of wedlock. The allegations may be false, but the payments appear to be very real, as documented in checks, books, and records. 

Before Trump arrived at a New York court for his arraignment on Tuesday, he tweeted his shock and outrage over the charges. “Heading to Lower Manhattan, the Courthouse,” he wrote. “Seems so SURREAL — WOW, they are going to ARREST ME. Can’t believe this is happening in America. MAGA!” Trump’s supporters echoed his criticism. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tweeted that District Attorney Alvin Bragg was “attempting to interfere in our democratic process.” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) called it “dangerous and illegal overreach by a radical DA.”