Trump charges present hurdles for prosecutors: analysts

STORY: Legal analysts say the decision to file criminal charges against Donald Trump will present distinct hurdles for prosecutors.

The historic decision was taken on Thursday (March 30) to charge the former U.S. president in a case involving a 2016 "hush money" payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Trump and his supporters have already alleged that the charges are politically motivated.

"There may also be an allegation of that kind in court"

Stanford Law professor David Alan Sklansky said it is unconstitutional for a prosecutor to file charges based on the political party of the defendant.

But he added that the defense would need to prove that prosecutors have chosen to not file charges against similarly-situated defendants.

"...which will be a difficult burden for Trump to satisfy in this case".

However, the historic nature of the decision by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg means prosecutors are now navigating uncharted waters.

That gives Trump's legal team the opportunity to challenge key elements of the case.

One area of legal uncertainty has to do whether the Manhattan DA can charge Trump with a felony for falsifying records, with the alleged intent of covering up a federal campaign finance violation.

"We haven't seen a case where a federal campaign fund financing offense has been used as the basis for that sort of a charge. And it's possible that for some reason or another, a court would decide that that that's not within the proper use of the New York criminal statute."

The payment of $130,000 in so-called "hush money" by Trump's then-lawyer Michael Cohen to Daniels had been under investigation for several years prior to Thursday's indictment.

"They're going to bring challenges very quickly..."

Sarah Krissoff, a partner at Day Pitney law form, says that gives Trump's defense an opening, as key witnesses have given their stories many times before.

"Trump's team is going to be able to do a lot of damage with that because there is likely inconsistencies in those statements along the way."

On Friday a New York judge authorized Bragg to make the charges public, though it was not clear when he would do so.

Trump's expected appearance before a judge in Manhattan on Tuesday (April 4) comes as the Republican mounts a comeback bid for the presidency and could further inflame divisions across the country.