Donald Trump’s ‘Felonies’ Leave Former Prosecutor Stunned


Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower on April 3, 2023 in New York City. One report claims he faces 34 felony charges.GOTHAM/GC IMAGES
  • Donald Trump was indicted by a grand jury last week following an investigation into hush money payments during the 2016 campaign.
  • The former president is said to be facing multiple felony counts of falsifying business records, with one report putting the figure at 34.
  • Abraham Hamadeh, a former prosecutor endorsed by Trump in a failed bid to become Arizona attorney general, said he’d “never seen that many charges.”

Areport that Donald Trump is being charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records has stunned a former prosecutor, although others said that the figure was consistent with what is known so far.

In a history-making moment, the former president will surrender to face criminal charges in a Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday.

He was indicted last week by a grand jury following an investigation into a $130,000 hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016, during Trump’s first presidential campaign.

Daniels alleges she had an affair with the married Trump years before he got into politics. Trump denies the affair and any wrongdoing involving payments.

Inside the courtroom, prosecutors led by New York’s district attorney, Alvin Bragg, are expected to unseal the indictment, giving Trump and his lawyers the first glimpse of the precise allegations. He is expected to plead not guilty to all counts.

Michael Isikoff, chief investigative correspondent at Yahoo! News, reported that Trump’s indictment includes 34 felony counts of falsification of business records.

Bragg’s office bumped the charges from misdemeanors to Class E felonies on the grounds that the conduct was intended to conceal another underlying crime, the report said, citing an unnamed source.

The evidence for the alleged underlying crime won’t be clarified until the indictment is unsealed, Isikoff reported.

Newsweek has been unable to verify the figure for the number of felony counts. The Associated Press has reported that Trump is facing multiple charges of falsifying business records, including at least one felony offense, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

Newsweek has contacted Trump’s attorney for comment via email.

Abraham Hamadeh, a former prosecutor and Trump-endorsed Republican who ran unsuccessfully for Arizona attorney general last year, took to Twitter to express his shock at Isikoff’s report.

He wrote: “34 felonies? As a former prosecutor I’ve never seen that many charges. I mean maybe in sex crime cases the most I’ve seen was maybe 25 and that was because each individual child porn photo was charged.”

However, Michael McAuliffe, a former federal prosecutor and elected state attorney, told Newsweek: “While the country and the world will know soon enough, the indictment charging Donald Trump with multiple counts of business document fraud very likely reflects multiple payments that allegedly were mischaracterized to hide their true nature and purpose.

“This multiple count approach is very common in charging fraud cases that involve repetitive acts like wire transactions, financial deposits or other types of payments.”

Others also said they were not surprised.

Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor and legal analyst, tweeted that 34 Class E felony counts of falsification of business records “is consistent with the other reports we’ve heard to date.”

Mariotti added: “What we still don’t know is what underlying crime Bragg claims that those crimes were done in furtherance of. A campaign finance crime, or tax fraud?”

Harry Litman, a former U.S. attorney and deputy assistant attorney general, tweeted that to him, 34 counts “equals 3×11+1.

“I.e. three different offenses, growing out of each of the 11 checks and one umbrella conspiracy offense.”

Attorney Lisa Bloom posted a Twitter thread, saying the 34 felonies “are presumably (we’ll find out tomorrow) 34 instances of lying on Trump’s business records about the hush $ payments, to cover up evidence of an underlying crime, in this case the campaign nondisclosures.

“And to buttress it all, Trump’s lies caught on video. A prosecutor’s dream.”

Trump responded to the report in a post on Truth Social.

“Wow! District Attorney Bragg just illegally LEAKED the various points, and complete information, on the pathetic Indictment against me,” Trump wrote.

“This means that he MUST BE IMMEDIATELY INDICTED. Now, if he wants to really clean up his reputation, he will do the honorable thing and, as District Attorney, INDICT HIMSELF.”

Update 4/4/23, 7:30 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to add comment from Michael McAuliffe.


  1. “And to buttress it all, Trump’s lies caught on video. A prosecutor’s dream.”

    I’m happy with that!

    “Now, if he wants to really clean up his reputation, he will do the honorable thing and, as District Attorney, INDICT HIMSELF.”

    This dishonorable orange-colored baboon will do this when hell freezes over.

      • You see!
        He is INNOCENT!
        WITCH HUNT!
        First the Mueller report and now this.
        Why can’t the Left ever leave Him alone?

        • How about you take your head out of your ass. You’re a fuckin moron. You wouldn’t know truth if it hit you upside your head.

      • Generally speaking, legal fees are awarded only when a case is determined to be frivolous, but each state will have its own laws. The point being: the porn star is a grifter. I know, huge surprise. Porn stars aren’t exactly known for their morals, values, principles, and ethics. It seems to me the 34 felonies are based on circumstances surrounding this grifter whose allegations have been found by certain courts to be frivolous. It doesn’t sound like a particularly strong case to me but I’m not following it closely. It might all come down to the testimony of a grifting porn star.

        • You might be right about this, although there is some hope that there’s more to this than meets the eye.

        • No, the charges don’t really have anything to do with Stormy Daniels. Trump paid her off through Michael Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in prison for doing Trump’s bidding. The current charges are about how Trump repaid Cohen and falsified business records to do so.

            • Duck wrote, “It might all come down to the testimony of a grifting porn star.”

              I’m just pointing out that the case has nothing to do with any testimony by Stormy Daniels. Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to the payoff 5 years ago. The current indictment is related to an illegal scheme to influence the 2016 election. It wasn’t just the payoff to silence Stormy Daniels. There was also David Pecker of American Media, Inc. paying for and then killing the story about Karen McDougal. And there was also a payoff to Trump’s doorman, to kill a story about an out-of-wedlock child (which was false).

              “just the media” – What does the media have to do with it? You can read the indictment for yourself.

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