The indictment heard around the world has landed, and it is sealed for now.
After years of expectations that one of Donald Trump’s long list of (alleged) crimes would result in actual consequences, it’s at last happening.
The grand jury indictment at the request of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
The charge is believed to stem from his hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who says she had a brief affair with Trump a decade before his 2016 campaign when his wife Melania was home with their newborn son. The New York Times reports:
The felony indictment, filed under seal by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, will likely be announced in the coming days.
Trump himself posted on his social media that he had been told the charge would land last Tuesday, and his attorneys assured the public that the former president would turn himself in peacefully.
The ex-president called for protests, and many of his fans called for more extreme responses.
Since then, House Republicans have engaged in a very public up and back with the Manhattan DA.
And a Trump supporter was arrested outside the Manhattan courthouse with a weapon earlier this week.
Donald Trump allegedly used his tabloid media connections first for a “catch-and-kill” silencing of one adultery story. Then he had his attorney, Michael Cohen, pay porn star Stormy Daniels aka Stephanie Clifford a sum of $130,000, which Trump said he’d pay back under the false guise of legal fees.
The twice impeached president’s attorneys and defenders have denied that the payment was an illegal campaign contribution, arguing that it was a private matter and that the payments were only intended to keep his family from being ’embarrassed.’
Additionally, Trump also maintains that he never had an affair with Daniels, who responded by releasing a detailed description of his genitals.
Preparations for the indictment, and for the backlash from Trump’s fans, began to be more public a week ago Monday, as barriers were erected outside Manhattan criminal court to keep protestors at a safe distance.
It’s clear that officials were concerned about the potential for further violence, as on January 6th, when Trump also directed his supporters to defend him if he got indicted.
An email from D.A. Bragg to employees of his office emphasized the importance of safety for law enforcement and government officials.
Trump now faces arraignment and unsealing of charges.
In the meantime, it’s possible that indictments could hit from some of his other cases, such as the investigation into his alleged election interference efforts in Georgia or the Justice Department’s probe into his document case.
Steel barricades arriving outside Manhattan Criminal Court @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/aWESUZ01fU
— Robert Costa (@costareports) March 20, 2023