A Manhattan grand jury voted Thursday to indict former President Donald Trump in a probe into a 2016 hush money payment.
The precise charge or charges are unknown.
According to sources familiar with the case, Donald Trump faces more than 30 counts of business fraud in a Manhattan grand jury indictment.
Marking the first time in American history that a current or former president has faced criminal charges.
Trump is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.
The indictment has been filed under seal and will be made public in the coming days. The charges are not yet public.
The former president is being investigated by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office.
For his alleged role in a hush money payment scheme and cover-up involving adult film star Stormy Daniels dating back to the 2016 presidential election.
The grand jury proceedings are private, but a source familiar with the case said that a witness testified for about 30 minutes before the jury voted to indict Trump.
The decision is certain to send shockwaves across the country, pushing the American political system.
Which has never seen one of its ex-leaders face criminal charges, let alone run for president again into uncharted territory.
In response to the indictment, Trump issued a statement calling it “political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history.”
“I believe Joe Biden’s Witch-Hunt will backfire spectacularly,” the former president stated.
“The American people are well aware of what the Radical Left Democrats are up to here. It is visible to everyone.
So, united and strong, our Movement and Party will first defeat Alvin Bragg.
Then Joe Biden and we will throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so that we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
According to a person who spoke with Trump directly, the grand jury’s decision to indict him caught him off guard.
While the former president was bracing for an indictment last week.
He began to believe news reports that an indictment was weeks or even months away.
“Is this a shock today? Hell yes,” the person said, speaking on a condition of anonymity as Trump’s team calculated its response.
Bragg’s office stated that it is in contact with Trump’s lawyers.
“We contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney this evening to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment.
Which remains under seal,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement Thursday. “When the arraignment date is selected, guidance will be provided.”
According to Trump’s defense attorney, Joe Tacopina, the former president was initially asked to surrender to authorities in New York on Friday.
The day after a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict him.
However, Tacopina expressed surprise at the timing of the indictment and stated that more time was required because of the Secret Service.
Which protects the former president, and needs to coordinate his surrender in New York.
The legal action against Trump has shifted the 2024 presidential campaign into a new phase, with the former president vowing to run despite the criminal charges.
Trump has frequently referred to the various investigations into him as a “witch hunt.”
Attempting to sway public opinion by portraying himself as a victim of what he claims are political investigations led by Democratic prosecutors.
As the indictment was reportedly nearing, Trump urged his supporters to protest his arrest.
Echoing his calls to action after losing the 2020 election to President Joe Biden.
In his personal, professional, and political lives, Trump has long avoided legal consequences.
Throughout the years, he has settled a number of private civil lawsuits and paid his way out of disputes involving the Trump Organization, his namesake company.
As president, he was impeached twice by the Democratic-led House but was not convicted by the Senate.
The Trump Organization was convicted of multiple counts of tax fraud in December, though Trump was not charged in that case.
Trump’s Republican allies, as well as his GOP rivals in 2024, have condemned the Manhattan district attorney’s office over the impending indictment.