(SCRIPPS NEWS) — A Manhattan grand jury voted to indict former President Donald Trump.
The exact charges have not been revealed, but they stem from alleged payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels.
“Never before in our Nation’s history has this been done,” Trump said in a statement Thursday.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg confirmed the indictment and said that his office has been in contact with Trump’s attorney.
“This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”
Trump’s legal team said it would “vigorously” fight the charges.
Trump suggested he knew criminal charges were coming. Trump said on his Truth social media account earlier this month that he believed he would be arrested. Trump also called on his supporters to protest the arrest.
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Bragg’s office has been investigating payments allegedly made by Trump and his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels. It was revealed that Daniels received a payment from Trump through Cohen to remain quiet about their relationship in the leadup to the 2016 election.
Cohen told Scripps News in a text, “I take no pride in issuing this statement and wish to also remind everyone of the presumption of innocence, as provided by the due process clause. However, I do take solace in validating the adage that no one is above the law, not even a former President. Today’s indictment is not the end of this chapter, but rather just the beginning.”
In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges.
Recently, Daniels and her attorney Clark Brewster confirmed on Twitter that she met with prosecutors at the request of Bragg’s office.
RELATED: Stormy Daniels meets with prosecutors investigating Trump
In a statement on Thursday, he said, “The indictment of Donald Trump is no cause for joy. The hard work and conscientiousness of the grand jurors must be respected. Now let truth and justice prevail. No one is above the law.”
The indictment comes as Trump is launching his 2024 election bid.
Trump is also battling several other ongoing investigations, including a federal investigation into his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House. He is also being investigated in Georgia for pressuring election officials to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
Donald Trump’s Full Statement
“This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history. 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. You remember it just like I do: Russia, Russia, Russia; the Mueller Hoax; Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine; Impeachment Hoax 1; Impeachment Hoax 2; the illegal and unconstitutional Mar-a-Lago raid; and now this.
“The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump,’ but now they’ve done the unthinkable – indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant Election Interference.
“Never before in our Nation’s history has this been done. The Democrats have cheated countless times over the decades, including spying on my campaign, but weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent, who just so happens to be a President of the United States and by far the leading Republican candidate for President, has never happened before. Ever.
“Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who was hand-picked and funded by George Soros, is a disgrace. Rather than stopping the unprecedented crime wave taking over New York City, he’s doing Joe Biden’s dirty work, ignoring the murders and burglaries and assaults he should be focused on. This is how Bragg spends his time!
“I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden. 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!”
Following the release of Trump’s official statement, the former president used his Truth Social platform to further express his displeasure with the indictment.
“These Thugs and Radical Left Monsters have just INDICATED the 45th President of the United States of America, and the leading Republican Candidate, by far, for the 2024 Nomination for President. THIS IS AN ATTACK ON OUR COUNTRY THE LIKES OF WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE. IT IS LIKEWISE A CONTINUING ATTACK ON OUR ONCE FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS. THE USA IS NOW A THIRD WORLD NATION, A NATION IN SERIOUS DECLINE. SO SAD!” Trump said.
This story was originally published March 30, 2023 by Scripps News, an E.W. Scripps Company.