A New York grand jury voted Thursday to indict former President Donald Trump in connection with a $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, his lawyer told CNBC.
Trump attorney Joe Tacopina told NBC News that Trump is expected to surrender to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office early next week. Trump is expected to be arraigned Tuesday, according to Susan Necheles, another Trump lawyer. The former president is tentatively expected to appear before Judge Juan Merchan after 2:15 p.m. that day in Manhattan, two officials told NBC News. That is subject to change.
Trump is the first former president to be charged with a crime, a development that will reverberate around the country. The indictment comes as he is the leading contender seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg confirmed the indictment Thursday evening.
“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,” said a spokesperson for Bragg’s office.
The number of charges Trump faces in the indictment was not disclosed Thursday. And it was not known whether the indictment was limited to conduct related to the payment to Daniels or if it also includes conduct surrounding a separate hush money payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal by the publisher of The National Enquirer. Trump’s lawyers told CNBC on Thursday night they didn’t know the charges.
Trump was caught off guard by the news of the indictment, according to various media reports. He blasted the decision, calling it “Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history.” Just Wednesday, he had said in a social media post that he had “gained such respect for this grand jury.”
The charge stems from the district attorney’s investigation into how the Trump Organization recorded a reimbursement to Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen after Cohen paid Daniels, who’s also known as Stephanie Clifford, to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual encounter she says she had with Trump in 2006.