Former President Donald Trump was indicted as part of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s years-long investigation for possible hush money payments.
Alvin Bragg, Manhattan District Attorney, has been investigating former President Trump for possible hush money payments made proceeding the 2016 presidential election.
The charges include the $130,000 payment to former stripper and adult film actress Stormy Daniels and the $150,000 alleged payment made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Fox News reported and revealed alleged hush-money payments to both Daniels and McDougal in 2018. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York and the Federal Election Commission has investigated the payments.
Southern District of New York federal prosecutors have opted out of charging Trump with the Stormy Daniels payment in 2019, as Cohen then implicated Trump in his plea deal. Additionally, the Federal Election Commission tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021.
“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,” said a spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said in a statement on Thursday. “Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”
Former President Trump reacted to his indictment and slammed D.A. Bragg for his “obsession” with trying to “get Trump” while warning that the move to charge a former president of the U.S. will “backfire.”
“This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history,” said Trump in a statement. “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.”
“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 the act of blatant Election Interference,” Trump said. “Never before in our Nation’s history has this been done?”
Trump said Dems are guilty of “weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent.”
Trump attorney: “Trump, a victim…”
Alina Habba, Trump’s attorney, said Trump “is a victim of a corrupt and distorted version of the American justice system and history.”
“He will be vindicated,” said Habba.
D.A. Bragg discontinued charges in 2022
When he took over as district attorney in January of 2022, Bragg discontinued pursuing charges against Trump and decided to suspend the investigation “indefinitely.”
Prosecutors Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, who led the former DA Cyrus Vance’s investigation, both submitted their resignations under the former District Attorney Cyrus Vance amid the rising doubts of the growing case against Trump.
President Trump, earlier in the month, cited reports that were based on what was called “illegal leaks,” and he suggested he may be able to be arrested on Tuesday, March 21. Trump continued posting reports on his TruthSocial media platform, asking the House Judiciary Committee to intervene and demanding that Bragg testifies before the panel.
GOP lawmakers and allies of former President Trump blasted the investigation as a political aim and “weaponization” of the district attorney.
President Joe Biden is also under investigation by the special counsel for improper retention of classified records from the Obama administration. Former Vice President Mike Pence also alerted the Feds that he had classified documents at home.
The Trump charges come as New York Attorney General Letitia James continues year-long investigations into the Trump Organization to determine if Trump and his company wrongly inflated the value of assets of financial statements to obtain tax benefits and loans.