A grand jury in Manhattan has voted to indict Donald Trump.
This is the first time in American history that a president –current or former– has faced criminal charges.
The Manhattan DA’s office has been investigating the ex-president in connection with his alleged role in a hush money payment scheme and cover-up involving adult film star Stormy Daniels that dates to the 2016 presidential election.
Michael Cohen, the former attorney for Trump who served prison time for the hush money operation, released a statement after a grand jury voted to indict Trump,
For the first time in our Country’s history, a President (current or former) of the United States has been indicted. 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. Now that the charges have been filed, it is better for the case to let the indictment speak for itself.
The two things I wish to say at this time is that accountability matters and I stand by my testimony and the evidence I have provided to DANY (District Attorney of New York).”
CNN political analyst Maggie Haberman explained how Trump’s advisers are reacting to the news,
They are in something of a shock…”
Alina Habba, an attorney for rump, released a statement saying,
A former president, a current candidate and my friend President Donald J. Trump is a victim of a corrupt and distorted version of the American justice system and history. He will be vindicated,”
This latest legal action against Trump takes the ’24 presidential campaign into a new area. Trump has long avoided legal consequences in his personal, professional and political lives. But now at least one of the chickens has come home to roost.
He was twice impeached as POTUS, another first, but avoided conviction by the GOP-led Senate.
Defense attorney Joe Tacopina said Trump will likely be arraigned early next week.
Melania responds to news of Trump indictment: pic.twitter.com/4Ib7TJdulI— Paul Rudnick (@PaulRudnickNY) March 30, 2023
(AI image Eliot Higgins; via CNN)