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People of the State of New York against Donald J. Trump – Indictment and Statement of Facts

THE GRAND JURY OF THE COUNTY OF NEW YORK, by this indictment, accuses the defendant of the crime of FALSIFYING BUSINESS RECORDS IN THE FIRST DEGREE, in violation of Penal Law §175.10, committed as follows: The defendant, in the County of New York and elsewhere, on or about February 14, 2017, with intent to defraud and intent to commit another crime and aid and conceal the commission thereof, made and caused a false entry in the business records of an enterprise, to wit, an invoice from Michael Cohen dated February 14, 2017, marked as a record of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, and kept and maintained by the Trump Organization…”


1. The defendant DONALD J. TRUMP repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.
2. From August 2015 to December 2017, the Defendant orchestrated a scheme with others to influence the 2016 presidential election by identifying and purchasing negative information about him to suppress its publication and benefit the Defendant’s electoral prospects. In order to execute the unlawful scheme, the participants violated election laws and made and caused false entries in the business records of various entities in New York. The participants also took steps that mischaracterized, for tax purposes, the true nature of the payments made in furtherance of the scheme.
3. One component of this scheme was that, at the Defendant’s request, a lawyer who then worked for the Trump Organization as Special Counsel to Defendant (“Lawyer A”), covertly paid $130,000 to an adult film actress shortly before the election to prevent her from publicizing a sexual encounter with the Defendant. Lawyer A made the $130,000 payment through a shell corporation he set up and funded at a bank in Manhattan. This payment was illegal, and Lawyer A has since pleaded guilty to making an illegal campaign contribution and served time in prison. Further, false entries were made in New York business records to effectuate this payment, separate and apart from the New York business records used to conceal
the payment.
4. After the election, the Defendant reimbursed Lawyer A for the illegal payment through a series of monthly checks, first from the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust (the “Defendant’s Trust”)—a Trust created under the laws of New York which held the Trump Organization entity assets after the Defendant was elected President—and then from the Defendant’s bank account. Each check was processed by the Trump Organization, and each check was disguised as a payment for legal services rendered in a given month of 2017 pursuant to a retainer agreement. The payment records, kept and maintained by the Trump Organization, were false New York business records. In truth, there was no retainer agreement, and Lawyer A was not being paid for legal services rendered in 2017. The Defendant caused his entities’ business records to be falsified to disguise his and others’ criminal conduct.
5. The Defendant is the beneficial owner of a collection of business entities known by the trade name the Trump Organization. The Trump Organization comprises approximately 500 separate entities that, among other business activities, own and manage hotels, golf courses, commercial real estate, condominium developments, and other properties. The Trump Organization is headquartered at 725 Fifth Avenue in New York County.
6. From approximately June 2015 to November 2016, the Defendant was a candidate for the office of President of the United States. On January 20, 2017, he became President of the United States.

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