Donald Trump will be arrested after a grand jury voted to indict him, Manhattan’s District Attorney (DA) has confirmed.
Though no details of the indictment have been confirmed, it is believed to be related to hush money payments made to two women Trump is alleged to have had affairs with.
In a statement attributed to a spokesperson, the office of DA Alvin Bragg confirmed what had been widely reported this morning.
“This evening we contacted Mr Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan DA’s office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal,” the statement read.
“Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”
His surrender is expected to take place next week.
Hush money was paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal over alleged affairs.
Trump’s presumed chief rival for the Republican nomination Ron DeSantis said he would not allow his state to cooperate with a possible extradition request.
In a tweet, the Florida governor referenced the fact Bragg received a donation from billionaire George Soros.
“The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent,” DeSantis said.
“Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda.”
DeSantis’ support of Trump comes despite the former president repeatedly attacking him in recent weeks.
District attorneys in the US are elected on partisan grounds, but George Soros never donated to Bragg’s campaign. A spokesperson for Soros said the two have never met.
Soros, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, has been at the centre of a litany of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in American politics for several years.
The legal action against Trump jolts the 2024 presidential campaign into a new phase – where the former president has vowed to keep running in the face of criminal charges.
Trump has issued a statement blaming Democrats for the pending indictment.
“This is political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history,” he said.
“The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump’, but now they’ve done the unthinkable – indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant election interference.“
He said Bragg, the district attorney, was “doing Joe Biden’s dirty work”.
“I believe this witch-hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden,” Trump said.
“The American people realise exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here.”
As the indictment reportedly neared, Trump urged his supporters to protest his arrest, echoing his calls to action following the 2020 election as he tried to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden.
Trump has long avoided legal consequences in his personal, professional and political lives.
He has settled a number of private civil lawsuits through the years and paid his way out of disputes concerning the Trump Organisation, his namesake company.
As president, he was twice impeached by the Democratic-led House, but avoided conviction by the Senate.
In December, the Trump Organisation was convicted on multiple charges of tax fraud, though Trump himself was not charged in that case.
Trump’s Republican allies – as well as his 2024 GOP rivals – have condemned the Manhattan district attorney’s office over the looming indictment, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has vowed to launch an investigation into the matter.
Bragg’s office had signalled as recently as early March that they were close to bringing charges against Trump after they invited the ex-president to testify before the grand jury probing the hush money scheme.
Potential defendants in New York are required by law to be notified and invited to appear before a grand jury weighing charges.
But Trump ultimately declined to appear before the panel.
The long-running investigation first began under Bragg’s predecessor, Cy Vance, when Trump was in office.
It relates to a $US130,000 ($193,000) payment made by Trump’s then-personal attorney Michael Cohen to Daniels in late October 2016, days before the 2016 presidential election, to silence her from going public about an alleged affair with Trump a decade earlier.
Trump has denied the affair.
At issue in the investigation is the payment made to Daniels and the Trump Organisation’s reimbursement to Cohen.
According to court filings in Cohen’s own federal prosecution, Trump Organisation executives authorised payments to him totalling $US420,000 ($625,000) to cover his original $US130,000 payment and tax liabilities and reward him with a bonus.
After the news of the indictment broke, Cohen issued a statement.
“For the first time in our Country’s history, a President (current or former) of the United States has been indicted,” Cohen said.
“I take no pride in issuing this statement and wish to also remind everyone of the presumption of innocence; as provided by the due process clause.
“However, I do take solace in validating the adage that no one is above the law; not even a former President.
“Today’s indictment is not the end of this chapter; but rather, just the beginning. Now that the charges have been filed, it is better for the case to let the indictment speak for itself.
“The two things I wish to say at this time is that accountability matters and I stand by my testimony and the evidence I have provided to DANY (District Attorney of New York).”
The Trump Organisation noted the reimbursements as a legal expense in its internal books. Trump has denied knowledge of the payment.
How America has responded
Representative Adam Schiff, who headed Trump’s first impeachment in Congress, noted the indictment was “unprecedented”.
“But so too is the unlawful conduct in which Trump has been engaged,” Schiff said in a statement.
“A nation of laws must hold the rich and powerful accountable, even when they hold high office. Especially when they do.
“To do otherwise is not democracy.”
Daniels’ lawyer Clark Brewster tweeted the indictment was “no cause for joy”.
“The hard work and conscientiousness of the grand jurors must be respected. Now let truth and justice prevail,” he said.
“No one is above the law.”
The head of the Republican National Committee attacked Bragg on Twitter after the news broke.
“When our justice system is weaponised as a political tool, it endangers all of us,” Ronna McDaniel said.
“This is a blatant abuse of power from a (district attorney) focused on political vengeance instead of keeping people safe.”
Trump’s son Donald Jr fumed over the charges.
“This is stuff that would make Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, it would make them blush,” he said on his podcast.
He then directed a message to his listeners: “Just wait until they come for you, because they will.”
Vote to impeach Donald Trump finalised in writing
Sign up here to receive our daily newsletters and breaking news alerts, sent straight to your inbox.
With CNN, AP
(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)
Last modified: January 26, 2023
¡La abundancia de artículos interesantes en su sitio me asombra! ¡Buena suerte al autor y más posts interesantes!