Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted former President Donald Trump over an alleged 2016 hush-money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. It is a sealed indictment. Hence, the charges are still unknown. CNN reported more than 30 counts related to business fraud. The arraignment hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 4, at 2:15 pm EST.
Many details about the hearing are in question. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) stated that he would not cooperate with any extradition efforts to New York. Some believe that President Trump will surrender himself. Still, others question how the Secret Service would be able to ensure his safety.
DeSantis made public television comments and expressed Twitter opinions about the indictment. During his television statement, DeSantis stated, “Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with the Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda.” In his tweet, he called the indictment a "weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda" and "un-American."
The issue surrounds a payment of $130,000 made to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Gregory Clifford. Daniels alleges that she had a sexual relationship with President Trump in 2006. Disgraced Trump attorney Michael Cohen states that he paid Daniels $130,000 to remain quiet about the alleged sexual relationship between Trump and Daniels. In February 2018, Cohen said President Trump instructed him to do so and repaid Cohen from a business account. President Trump has consistently denied the relationship but eventually admitted to the payment after initially denying it.
In February 2018, the New Yorker magazine reported a second affair allegation from Playboy model Karen McDougal. American Media Inc, the owner of the National Enquirer tabloid, paid McDougal $150,000 for an exclusive to her story shortly after Trump received the Republican nomination. The National Enquirer never published the story. American Media Inc was forced to pay the Federal Election Commission $187,500 to settle complaints that the National Enquirer unlawfully aided President Trump's campaign by suppressing the story.
The indictment of former President Trump is unprecedented. It is the first time in U.S. history that formal charges have been brought against a former president. President Trump insists he is innocent and this is just another event in the ongoing “witch hunt.” President Trump is being investigated for classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago home in August after the FBI raided his house. He is being investigated for election interference in Georgia. Also, the January 6th committee wants to hold President Trump responsible for the people who entered the capital, despite his televised call for a peaceful protest. While the President was in office, he was acquitted of two impeachments.
In time, the case facts will be revealed. However, there is a significant problem from now on. The political divide will increase following the indictment. It doesn't matter what the facts are because most people have already decided about the former President's guilt or innocence by the headlines. Neither side of the aisle agrees on the facts, so no matter how the verdict turns out, many people will be angry and less trusting of the system. Presidential campaigns are beginning, and President Trump is the Republican front-runner by more than 30 points. Whether true or not, many believe the current administration uses the system against its political opponent. Enemies of America are waiting anxiously to watch the drama unfold and will look for ways to exploit it.
The issue is about trust. The economic, geopolitical, and social landscapes are precarious. The world wants strong leadership to navigate the waters. Traditionally, global eyes look to America, the leader of the free world, for that leadership. In politics, appearance is the reality for most voters. It could create a crisis of faith in American leadership on the world stage.
There isn't a similar American scandal or political event to compare the current indictment to make market predictions. The U.S. justice system is in uncharted waters, and both sides feel angry. Who knows what happens next? Protests? Violence? Apathy? Do people lose faith in governmental institutions? Does the market become volatile or overreact? Does the market yawn? We will learn what happens together. The future is unknown, which is precisely why people don't start shopping for car insurance after they have an accident. The point of insurance is to have it before an emergency and hope it is never needed. It works the same way with precious metals. It doesn't make sense to buy financial insurance after an emergency destroys purchasing power.
President Trump's indictment is a new precedent that could lead to political retaliation. It may or may not become a catalyst of financial turmoil, but it is a good reminder that the world can quickly change. Don't wait for an emergency to get financial insurance. Most people like to put 5-20% of their portfolios into precious metals, just in case.
It's better to be safe than sorry. Do you agree?
Let’s talk about it.