You can read it for yourself. It’s easy to understand and very straightforward. To paraphrase some dialogue of a Seinfeld episode, however, it’s an indictment about nothing. Perhaps that characterization is too charitable as the “Statement of Facts” (first embedded document below) lacks a very important piece of information upon which the entire indictment – all 34 counts – is predicated. The Manhattan District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, failed to even meet the “Burden of Production” (that any first-year law student should know – more information here) which is required to file any charges – in New York or elsewhere.
Note that paragraph #2, in its entirety, states:
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.Source: Statement of Facts
First, note that in this paragraph and throughout the entire document, there is no citation of the New York State law that was allegedly broken. Although there is a vague reference to the violation of campaign finance laws upon which the entirety of the case is based, there is no such law as it relates to the facts outlined in the indictment. Stated differently, the courts have already ruled that directing campaign funds (or other funds) as “his money” is not illegal. Distasteful, arguably yes, but not illegal.
The most cited example of this is the case of John Edwards. In 2011, a grand jury criminally charged presidential candidate John Edwards for making hush money payments made to his mistress, John Edwards faced up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines. You can read about the Edwards case here.
Secondly, note the dates of alleged offenses as specified in the indictment below. Each date of alleged defense was during the period when Trump was president. This is critically important as President Trump had fully divested himself from all business matters related to the entire Trump business organization. Additionally, violating New York as referenced in the indictment and statement of facts – Penal Law §175.10 (LINK) – is only a felony ONLY if said violation is committed in furtherance of another felony. The charging document fails to cite the specific law that was violated upon which the entire indictment is based.
Without getting too far into the weeds, contact with an attorney familiar with this New York statute (Penal Law §175.10) suggests that there are two parts to this statute: (1) Intent to defraud, and, (2) Intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission of that crime. It was his legal opinion that Bragg took liberties with the second part of this statute, suggesting that President Trump “aided” others unknown or unnamed, except for (possibly) Michael Cohen, thus “creating” felonies based on non-existent evidence.
Therefore, this is a misapplication of New York State law at best, and a case of seditious conspiracy to interfere with the 2024 presidential election, not by President Trump, but by Alvin Bragg and those behind him, at worst.