Trump becomes 1st current or former president to be indicted: Sources
Written by ABC Audio. All rights reserved. on March 30, 2023
(NEW YORK) — A Manhattan grand jury has indicted former President Donald Trump, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the matter, making him the first current or former president to be indicted.
It’s not immediately clear what the indictment was connected to, or what charges Trump will face. The indictment is under seal.
Trump has been under investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, which has been probing the $130,000 hush money payment made to Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who has alleged she had an affair with Trump, which he has long denied.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer who wrote the check to Daniels in the closing days of the 2016 campaign, went to prison in part over the payment, which federal prosecutors believed amounted to an illicit campaign donation, according to court records.
Prosecutors believe Trump falsified business records because, according to documents associated with Cohen’s federal case, Trump allegedly logged the monthly reimbursement payments he made to Cohen as routine legal expenses.
“This is all about accountability,” Cohen told reporters when he arrived to testify before a Manhattan grand jury earlier this month. Of Trump, he said, “He needs to be held accountable for his dirty deeds.”
Trump has long insisted he did “absolutely nothing wrong” and has called the investigation part of a witch hunt by a Democratic prosecutor. An attorney for Trump has said the payment was not meant to protect the campaign, but to protect Trump’s family.
“He made this with personal funds to prevent something coming out, false, but embarrassing to himself, his family, his young son,” defense attorney Joe Tacopina told George Stephanopoulos two weeks ago on ABC’s Good Morning America.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg last year won a tax fraud conviction against Trump’s namesake company, and its former finance chief, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded guilty to tax evasion — but until now Trump himself had never faced an indictment.
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