Why Does Trump Face Felony Charges in Hush Money Trial?

by | May 8, 2024 | Firm News

Former President Donald Trump faces 34 felony counts in his Manhattan hush money trial. Mr. Trump is charged under New York law, with falsifying business records stemming from accusations that he covered up a $130,000 hush money payment to porn star, Stormy Daniels, to suppress her story of a sexual liaison with him. Typically, falsifying business records is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to one year in jail, under New York law. However, prosecutors can file the charge as a felony offense if they believe that the records were falsified to conceal another crime. In this case, the Manhattan prosecutors claim that Mr. Trump’s business records were falsified to protect his election campaign – a state election-law crime. Interestingly, prosecutors do not need to prove that such crimes were committed – only that there was an intent to commit or conceal an additional crime.