Former President Donald Trump is expected to be indicted soon by a New York grand jury for his role in a hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election.
In a post on social media over the weekend, Trump said he expected to be arrested on Tuesday and called on his supporters to protest — stirring security concerns around the courthouse in lower Manhattan. Politico reported that an indictment could come as early as late Monday.
If Trump were to be indicted, he would be the first former U.S. president ever to be charged with a crime. And as he’s running for the White House again in 2024, he would also be the first major candidate to be indicted during a presidential race.
For nearly five years, New York prosecutors have been investigating the $130,000 payment made weeks before the 2016 presidential election by Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen to Daniels, who said she’d had an affair with Trump nearly 10 years earlier. Trump denies the allegation. (The New York Times has much more on their alleged tryst, which is said to have begun with a chance encounter at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe in 2006.)
Earlier this month, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg invited Trump himself to testify before the grand jury that was hearing evidence — a move suggesting an indictment was imminent. Under New York law, potential targets of investigations are given the chance to appear before the grand jury, though they rarely do so. An attorney for Trump said he would not appear, and that his legal team had recently met privately with prosecutors to make their case against an indictment.
Last week Daniels met with prosecutors, while Cohen testified twice before the grand jury. And Yahoo News reported over the weekend that Bragg’s office has been engaged in delicate negotiations with the Secret Service over how to handle an indictment and arrest of the former president.
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