The grand jury in Manhattan investigating Donald Trump voted to indict the former president in connection to alleged 2016 hush money payments made by his then-attorney Michael Cohen to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, according to a New York Times report.
The vote took place earlier this week and the precise charges are not yet known because no formal announcement has been made.
Trump reacted to the news in a statement, calling it political persecution and election interference. He also described it as a witch hunt.
“From the time I came down the golden escalator at Trump Tower, and even before I was sworn in as your President of the United States, the Radical Left Democrats — the enemy of the hard-working men and women of this Country — have been engaged in a Witch-Hunt to destroy the Make America Great Again movement,”
Earlier this month, Trump was invited to appear before the grand jury. That fueled widespread speculation a vote would be happening soon.
Trump himself predicted an indictment. He posted on social media that he expected to be arrested soon.
No sitting or former president has ever been charged with a crime.
“Regard Mr. Trump innocent until proven guilty. He’s entitled to the protection of the very constitution that he was ready to repudiate and he’s innocent until proven guilty.”
The investigation has been going on for years, with a grand jury hearing from multiple witnesses during the last several weeks.
The district attorney’s office has been investigating whether Trump or his company broke any laws in connection with the payments. Cohen has said he arranged payments to Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal for them to keep quiet about alleged affairs.
“To coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A. Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal,” Bragg noted. “Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”
Law enforcement officials were preparing after the former president posted to his social media platform Truth Social over the weekend encouraging his supporters to take action. New York City police put up barricades and the U.S. Capitol Police were stepping up security Monday in anticipation of the arrest.