A Manhattan grand jury voted Thursday to indict Donald Trump — the first time a former U.S. president has faced criminal charges. The historic indictment comes in a case centered on $130,000 in payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the closing days of the 2016 presidential campaign. Daniels claimed she slept with the married Trump in 2006, a claim he has denied. Trump had classified his reimbursement of the payout as a legal expense.
A spokesperson for the Manhattan DA’s office confirmed the indictment in a statement Thursday night:
“This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a [state] Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.” (Supreme Court is the name of New York state’s highest trial court.)”
The indictment is likely to remain sealed until Trump makes an appearance in court, which could happen early next week. District Attorney Alvin Bragg confirmed in a statement that he is coordinating with Trump’s attorney for his surrender to the DA’s office. Bragg has been investigating the former president for alleged fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison.
Trump, currently a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, will still be eligible to run for president. The former president said in a statement on Truth Social following news of Thursday’s indictment: “This is political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history. From the time I came down the golden escalator at Trump Tower, and even before I was sworn in as your president of the United States, the radical left Democrats — the enemy of the hard-working men and women of this country — have been engaged in a witch hunt to destroy the Make America Great Again movement.”
Trump followed the statement with a separate post decrying his treatment by “thugs and radical left monsters,” saying, “THIS IS AN ATTACK ON OUR COUNTRY THE LIKES OF WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE.”
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