TRUMP INDICTED: Manhattan Grand Jury Indicts Trump Over Stormy Daniels Probe

NEW YORK (AP)– A Manhattan grand jury has voted to indict Donald Trump on charges involving payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital sexual encounter, the first ever criminal case against a former U.S. president and a jolt to Trump’s bid to retake the White House in 2024.

The indictment, confirmed Thursday by Joe Tacopina, a lawyer for Trump, and other people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to discuss sealed criminal charges, is an extraordinary development after years of investigations into his business, political and personal dealings. It is likely to galvanize critics who say Trump lied and cheated his way to the top and embolden supporters who feel the Republican is being unfairly targeted by a Democratic prosecutor.

Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing and has repeatedly attacked the investigation as politically motivated, was expected to surrender to authorities next week, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss a matter that remained under seal.

In bringing the charges, the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, is embracing an unusual case that had been investigated by two previous sets of prosecutors, both of which declined to take the politically explosive step of seeking Trump’s indictment.

In the weeks leading up to the indictment, Trump railed about the investigation on social media and urged supporters to protest on his behalf, prompting tighter security around the Manhattan criminal courthouse.

Trump faces other potential legal perils as he seeks to reassert control of the Republican Party and stave off a slew of one-time allies who are seeking or are likely to oppose him for the presidential nomination.

The district attorney in Atlanta has for two years been investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to meddle in Georgia’s 2020 vote count. And a U.S. Justice Department special counsel is investigating Trump’s storage of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida and his efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election.


ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST: Prominent Republican Charlie Dent stepping down from Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep Charlie Dent announced Tuesday that he will be leaving his role in Congress “in the coming weeks.”

Dent, a high profile moderate from Pennsylvania, hinted in September that he wouldn’t seek another term in office after serving as a member of Congress since 2005.

“After discussions with my family and careful reflection, I have decided to leave Congress in the coming weeks,” Dent said in a statement. “Serving the people of the 15th Congressional district has been a tremendous responsibility and the privilege of a lifetime, and I am honored by the trust that so many of my constituents placed in me to represent them in Washington. Actively engaging in the legislative and political process presents many challenges, and in so doing, I believe I have had a positive impact on people’s lives and made a difference in Congress.

I am especially proud of the work I have done to give voice to the sensible center in our country that is often overlooked or ignored. It is my intention to continue to aggressively advocate for responsible governance and pragmatic solutions in the coming years.”

Dent becomes the twenty-third Republican to announce they would not be seeking another congressional term. His announcement follows that of Paul Ryan who announced last week that he too will be stepping down from his congressional role as Speaker of the House at the beginning of 2018.

Dent’s announcement angered some Pennsylvania Republicans who say worrying about replacing Dent ahead of what promises to be a hotly contested mid-term election has put undue pressure on the GOP.

“I had called on him [Charlie Dent] to tell the truth months ago,” Tom Carroll, the chairman of the Bethlehem Republican City Committee and vice chair of the Lehigh Valley Tea Party, told Salon. “I had heard that he was going to be resigning to set up a special election so that he could manipulate who would win because the party rules in special elections are different than just in a normal primary. He was confronted [by] numerous sources and said he wasn’t going to resign. So, once again, he has not told the truth. I find him quite honestly reprehensible at this point. I say, ‘Good riddance.'”

He added, “I think it’s disgusting that he’s done this in a way that now we’re forced to have a special election prior to a general election coming up. He’s costing taxpayers money, if that’s the way it goes.”