Former President Donald Trump is now the first serving or former president to be charged with a crime after a Manhattan grand jury indicted him.
It was unclear at a distance how the indictment related to anything and what charges Trump will be facing. The indictment has a seal around it.
An official from the Manhattan district attorney’s office issued a statement on Thursday evening that read, “This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A. ‘s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”
According to people with knowledge of the situation, Trump is anticipated to surrender in New York at the start of the following week.
Trump described the indictment as “political persecution” and “an attack on our country.” in an interview with ABC News.
In a subsequent statement, Trump said, “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. Weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent, who just so happens to be a President of the United States and by far the leading Republican candidate for President, has never happened before. Ever.”
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has been looking into the $130,000 in hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who has claimed she had an affair with Trump, a claim he has long denied.
In the last weeks of the 2016 election, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, gave Daniels the check. According to court documents, federal prosecutors felt that the payment amounted to an illegal campaign donation.
According to Trump and court records from Cohen’s later plea deal, when Trump reimbursed Cohen for the payment, his business recorded the payments as a “monthly retainer” for Cohen’s legal services. According to sources, prosecutors were debating whether to prosecute Trump with fabricating financial documents.