WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today former U.S. President Donald Trump was arraigned in New York on 34 felony counts for falsification of business records stemming from the investigation into hush money payments to conceal affairs. In response, Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:
“We now know the charges that Trump will face for his alleged role in falsifying business records to conceal from the public information that could have been damaging to him in the weeks before the heated 2016 election. In New York, falsifying business records is a crime. When it’s done with the intent to commit fraud and to commit and conceal another crime, it’s a felony. This is not about a simple ‘bookkeeping violation.’ If the truth that he allegedly sought to conceal had emerged—information about affairs with two women—it could have altered the outcome of an election determined by about 70,000 voters across several states.
“This indictment was brought by a grand jury comprised of everyday Americans, who looked at the facts and made their own determination about the indictment.
“Today is no cause for joy, but it is a time for hope.
“We are hopeful because a key tenet of our nation is being upheld: No one is above the law in this country. That’s a fact that should serve to unite us, not divide us. As this case proceeds, Donald Trump will be afforded all the rights and protections afforded to criminal defendants, as he should be.
“We call on Trump surrogates to stop their inappropriate and unprecedented political attacks on District Attorney Alvin Bragg and to publicly reject violence as a response to today’s events.
“The investigations of Trump at the federal level and in Georgia pertaining to his efforts to subvert the 2020 election must continue.”