Donald Trump has been indicted on criminal charges for allegedly paying an adult film actress hush money.
New York grand jury votes to indict trump card Possible offenses related to payment of $130,000 (£105,000) stormy daniels During the 2016 presidential campaign.
It was allegedly in exchange for Daniels remaining silent about an alleged sexual encounter she said had with Trump a decade ago.
He is the first former US president to face criminal charges in court despite his attempt to retake the White House in 2024.
Trump, a Republican, said he was “totally innocent” and called the indictment a “witch hunt” and his lawyers said they would “fight hard” against it.
Live Update: Prosecutors file criminal charges against Trump
The Manhattan district attorney’s investigation has centered on allegations that Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougall were paid money that Trump allegedly feared they would publicly claim they had sex with him outside of marriage.
Trump, 76, has denied having an affair with either woman.
His former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, said he coordinated with Trump on the payments to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, as well as McDougall.
Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations related to the payments in 2018 and served more than a year in prison.
Cohen was acting at Trump’s direction, federal prosecutors said.
“Democrats lied, cheated and stole intent on ‘Fixing Trump,’ and now they’re doing the unthinkable — accusing a completely innocent person of blatant election interference,” Trump said.
“It’s never been done before in the history of our country.”
“I believe this witch hunt will have a huge backlash against Joe Biden,” he added.
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Trump is expected to surrender to authorities next week.
He has denied any wrongdoing and has repeatedly attacked District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation.
His office has spent nearly five years investigating Trump, and a grand jury has been hearing evidence since January.
Prosecutors and Trump’s legal team are agreeing on a surrender date when the former leader will have to visit the New York district attorney’s office to be fingerprinted and photographed before his first court appearance, according to Mr. Bragg’s spokesman.
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On Twitter, one of Trump’s sons, Eric, wrote: “This is third world prosecutorial misconduct. This is an opportunistic attack on a political opponent during a campaign year.”
There has been speculation in recent weeks that the former US leader will be indicted, and Trump has urged his supporters to protest against authorities while he is in custody.
He issued a lengthy statement describing the investigation as “a political witch hunt seeking to dethrone the Republican Party’s by far leading candidate.”
“I have done absolutely nothing wrong,” he said, before criticizing the “corrupt, depraved and weaponized justice system.”
Other ongoing cases facing Trump include the Georgia election interference investigation and two federal investigations into his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.