A New York grand jury today indicted Donald Trump on charges related to hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign, according to multiple media outlets. It’s a development that the former president has seized upon to rally his supporters against prosecutors.
The news has been confirmed by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox News and others.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, led by DA Alvin Bragg, has not made an official announcement, which might have to do with the office finalizing details of Trump’s surrender to authorities, which is expected to occur in the next several days, according to a law enforcement source. The indictment is sealed but will be made public when Trump is arraigned.
How this will play out for the 2024 presidential race is anyone’s guess.
Trump, the twice-impeached, one-term commander-in-chief who rose to national fame as the longtime host of NBC’s reality hit The Apprentice, is the first former U.S. president to face a criminal charge and arrest. He had been dodging legal jeopardy for decades, long before we came down the Trump Tower escalator in September 2015 to announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination.
Read an overview of the case from the Manhattan DA’s office from April 2022 below.
The charges stem from a $130,000 hush money payment that Trump’s then-attorney Michael Cohen made to Daniels just weeks before the 2016 election. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels, which she alleges took place in 2006.
Trump was expected to be accused of reimbursing Cohen for the payment and then falsifying business records — a way to evade election law. Cohen, who went to prison after pleading guilty to an array of charges including those related to the payments, has testified before a grand jury. But federal prosecutors also examined the payment and did not press charges.
“I believe that Donald, right now, is petrified,” Cohen said in an MSNBC interview today. “This is one of his biggest fears.”
The case may be only the first that is being waged against him. Wall Street Journal and CNN are reporting that Manhattan prosecutors also are looking into a different hush-money scheme that predates the 2016 campaign involving Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who said the National Enquirer tried to buy her story about an alleged affair with Trump in a “catch and kill” ploy to keep the story from coming out. The National Enquirer’s parent company A360 Media LLC agreed in 2021 to pay $187,500 as part of a settlement with the Federal Election Commission.
(Excerpt) Read more in: Deadline