Former president Donald Trump has been indicted by a New York City grand jury on charges of falsifying business records stemming from payments he made to former porn star stormy Daniels.
The Independent reports:
Grand jurors voted to indict the ex-president on Thursday, and that indictment is currently under seal. It will be unveiled at some point in the near future by District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Trump had signaled that he could face arrest by Mr Bragg’s office, which was still in the process of presenting evidence to a grand jury as recently as Monday.
He previously said in a post on his Truth Social website that he had expected to be arrested on 20 March, but that date came and went without an indictment being handed down from the grand jury.
No former US president has ever been criminally indicted.
The news is set to shake the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, in which Trump leads most polls.
The NY Times added the following on what happens next:
Mr. Bragg and his lawyers will likely attempt to negotiate Mr. Trump’s surrender. If he agrees, it will raise the prospect of a former president, with the Secret Service in tow, being photographed and fingerprinted in the bowels of a New York State courthouse.
The prosecution’s star witness is Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former fixer who paid the $130,000 to keep Ms. Daniels quiet. Mr. Cohen has said that Mr. Trump directed him to buy Ms. Daniels’s silence, and that Mr. Trump and his family business, the Trump Organization, helped cover the whole thing up. The company’s internal records falsely identified the reimbursements as legal expenses, which helped conceal the purpose of the payments.
Although the specific charges remain unknown, Mr. Bragg’s prosecutors have zeroed in on that hush money payment and the false records created by Mr. Trump’s company. A conviction is not a sure thing: An attempt to combine a charge relating to the false records with an election violation relating to the payment to Ms. Daniels would be based on a legal theory that has yet to be evaluated by judges, raising the possibility that a court could throw out or limit the charges.
The vote to indict, the product of a nearly five-year investigation, kicks off a new and volatile phase in Mr. Trump’s post-presidential life as he makes a third run for the White House. And it could throw the race for the Republican nomination — which he leads in most polls — into uncharted territory.
Mr. Bragg is the first prosecutor to lead an indictment of Mr. Trump. He is now likely to become a national figure enduring a harsh political spotlight.
WATCH: Joe Biden Laughs When Asked If Christians Were Targeted in Nashville Shooting