TRUMP INDICTED | Manhattan grand jury approves charges against ex-president in porn star hush money payment scheme

Donald Trump
FILE – Former President Donald J. Trump watches the NCAA Wrestling Championships, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Tulsa, Okla. Trump’s calls for protests ahead of his anticipated indictment in New York have generated mostly muted reactions from supporters, with even some of his most ardent loyalists dismissing the idea as a waste of time or a law enforcement trap. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

A Manhattan grand jury has voted to indict Former President Donald Trump on criminal charges in connection with a hush money investigation, The New York Times reported Thursday — the first time any former or active American commander-in-chief has ever been so disgraced.

Citing four sources, The New York Times reported that the grand jury handed down the indictment against the 76-year-old Floridian and Queens-born businessman after a months-long investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in connection with the payments made by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen to ex-porn star Stormy Daniels, with whom the Republican former president had an alleged fling before being elected in 2016.

The Associated Press reported that current Trump counsel Joe Tacopina confirmed the indictment along with “other people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to discuss sealed criminal charges.”

A statement from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, issued Thursday evening, noted that his office is now working to coordinate Trump’s surrender.

“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,” according to the statement. “Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”

Ironically, the news comes a day after it was reported the grand jury was going on hiatus for the upcoming Easter/Passover holiday, and would not be reconvening until at least mid-April. 

The exact charges against Trump will not be publicly known until the indictment is unsealed, according to the Times. When that happens, the former president will need to surrender or be arrested, then processed and arraigned like a common offender. The NYPD and Secret Service have previously spoken regarding how to carry out this process, CBS News reported.

The indictment comes 11 days after Trump predicted on social media that he would be indicted and arrested on Tuesday, March 21, in connection with the scheme. He called on his believers to “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!” on the event of his arrest, and launched a protracted smear campaign against Bragg that resulted in the prosecutor receiving threats of investigations from pro-Trump members of Congress, and death from the ex-president’s supporters.

But Trump apparently got the date wrong; March 21 came and went without an indictment or his arrest. Despite the city bracing itself for protests, and a media circus keeping vigil outside the DA’s office in Lower Manhattan, the grand jury convened on and off over the following 10 days, receiving witnesses and hearing more testimony. 

Amid the firestorm, Trump held a campaign rally in Waco, TX on March 25 in which he appeared to glorify those who launched the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol in his name, as part of a blatant effort to violently overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. He also claimed his innocence to the hush money scheme.

This is a developing story; check with amNY.com for further updates.