Former United States President Donald Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on Thursday, March 27th. Trump’s indictment is sealed but he will reportedly face more than 30 charges relating to business fraud. Reports indicate Trump is facing charges related to a hush money payment that was made to adult film star, Stormy Daniels, by Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen.
Cohen made a payment of $130,000 to Daniels, allegedly under instruction from former president Trump. The payment was made to stop Daniels from exposing the sexual relationship she had with Trump during his campaign to become president. Cohen was later reimbursed for making the payment, with these payments noted by Trump’s team as legal expenses. The payment to Cohen is illegal in New York State and is seen as an example of falsifying business records.
According to Trump’s lawyer, the authorities had asked for the accused to surrender on Friday, March 31st, however, an extension was requested and Trump is now likely to surrender on Tuesday, April 4th, when he is due to appear in court. Trump’s indictment is historic as he becomes the first former or sitting president to face criminal charges.
The indictment came after a period of uncertainty regarding whether Trump would be charged or not. In the week before he was indicted, news reports insinuated the indictment might not come to fruition. Trump and his team reportedly believed these reports and were surprised when he was, indeed, indicted. However, the former president denies the charges against him, expressing his opinions on the indictment on his own social media platform Truth Social, which he had to create after being banned from Twitter for his role in inciting the January 6th Capitol Insurrection.
“I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden,” the former president said in a statement Thursday. “The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it. So our Movement and our Party — united and strong — will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat Joe Biden, and we are going to throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Former president Trump and his supporters have claimed the indictment is being used as a tool against political opponents. He has also been supported by his fellow Republicans. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis labeled the indictment “unAmerican.” Governor DeSantis wrote on Twitter, “The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head.”
Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of the House, alleged that Manhattan District Attorney Bragg had irreparably damaged the U.S., calling the indictment an attempt at interfering with the 2024 Presidential Election. The indictment will seemingly not prevent Trump from participating in the Presidential Election