Donald Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter – the first time in American history that a current or former president has faced criminal charges.
The indictment has been filed under seal and will be announced in the coming days. The charges are not publicly known at this time, one source told CNN.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office will reach out to Trump’s attorneys to discuss his surrender to face an arraignment. CNN has reached out to Trump’s attorneys for comment.
The DA’s office has been investigating the former president in connection with his alleged role in a hush money payment scheme and cover-up involving adult film star Stormy Daniels that dates to the 2016 presidential election.
The decision is sure to send shockwaves across the country, pushing the American political system – which has never seen one of its ex-leaders confronted with criminal charges, let alone while running again for president – into uncharted waters.
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 frequently called the various investigations surrounding him a “witch hunt,” attempting to sway public opinion on them by casting himself as a victim of what he’s claimed are political probes led by Democratic prosecutors. 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 Organization, his namesake company. As president, he was twice impeached by the Democratic-led House, but avoided conviction by the Senate. In December, the Trump Organization was convicted on multiple charges of tax fraud, though Trump himself was not charged in that case.