Grand Jury Votes to Indict Donald Trump in New York: Live Updates
Mr. Trump will face criminal charges relating to a hush-money payment to a porn star during his 2016 campaign.
Trump is the first former President to be charged with a crime. The exact charges have not been revealed, but they are related to the payment of hush money made by Mr. Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign.
March 30, 2023, 5:24 p.m. ETMarch 30, 2023, 5:24 p.m.
He will be photographed. He will be photographed. He could even be handcuffed.
In the days to come, the former President of the United States of America is going to be given the Miranda warning. He will be informed that he can remain silent or have an attorney represent him.
This is a routine step in the felony arrest process in New York. And this is likely what will happen to Donald J. Trump after a grand jury voted to indict his involvement in the payment of hush money to a pornstar. But the arrest of the former commander in chief, which will be unprecedented, will not be routine.
There may be accommodations made for Mr. Trump. It is not clear if Mr. Trump will receive an exception to the standard handcuffing of defendants charged with felony offenses. The hands of most defendants are usually cuffed behind the back, but for some white-collar criminals who pose less of a threat their hands may be cuffed in front.
The United States Secret Service will be with Mr. Trump at every stage of the process, from the moment that he is arrested until he appears before a court in Lower Manhattan's Criminal Courts Building. They are required to protect him by law at all times.
State court officers provide security in the courthouse, and the Secret Service worked with them in the past. Anthony J. Guglielmi said that he couldn't comment on the specific measures to be taken for Donald Trump.
It could take Mr. Trump several days to show up at the courthouse. The indictment is now due, since the grand jury voted indicting him. Then, the prosecutors will contact his lawyers to negotiate terms of surrender. This is a standard practice for white-collar cases where the district attorney's offices has spoken with the defense lawyers.
Attorneys for Mr. Trump who is running for President a third term, have stated that he will surrender and face the charges, flying from his Florida estate in New York to the arraignment.
He will almost certainly be released without bail after his arraignment because the indictment is likely to contain only nonviolent felonies. Under New York law, prosecutors are not allowed to request bail for such cases.
The former president intends to use these charges as a part of his campaign strategy in order to stir up his supporters.
Some might say that surrender is not in his DNA. He seems to enjoy antagonizing the prosecutors who investigated him and attacking them. He called Alvin L. Bragg the Manhattan district prosecutor who obtained the hush-money indictment, and is Black, "a racist" and claimed that his investigation had been politically motivated.
If the former President refuses to surrender in the unlikely event, he will put Governor. Ron DeSantis, Florida's leading, but undeclared, rival for the Republican presidential nomination, would be in a difficult political position. According to law, Mr. DeSantis would be in a largely ministerial role and would have limited legal options except for approving the extradition request of New York.
DeSantis, however, would be in a difficult position if New York prosecutors requested Mr. Trump's expulsion. DeSantis would have to decide whether to issue an arrest warrant against Mr. Trump, which could inflame his base, or to assist his Republican rival and potentially face legal action.
March 30, 2023, 5:23 p.m. ETMarch 30, 2023, 5:23 p.m.
Nearly five years have passed since the Manhattan District Attorney's Office began its investigation into Donald J. Trump and his hush money payments to a pornographic movie star. This led to a vote to indict him.
Aug. 21, 2018
Michael D. Cohen claims he paid hush money to the President, and an investigation is launched.
Mr. Cohen, who was formerly Mr. Trump's personal lawyer and fixer, pleaded to federal crimes. He told the court that Trump had ordered him to make hush money payments to two women. The payments were made in 2016 to prevent the women from publicly speaking about the affairs they claimed they had with Mr. Trump.
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office opened an investigation shortly after Mr. Cohen made his admission to determine if the payments violated New York State law. At the request of federal prosecutors who were still investigating the same conduct, the Manhattan district attorney's office halted the investigation.
The district attorney's offices subpoenas Trump Organization.
Cyrus R. Vance Jr. reopened his investigation after federal prosecutors declared that their investigation had been 'effectively completed'. In the last week of the month, the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., issued subpoenas to the Trump Organization, and to Mr. Trump’s accounting firm. They demanded eight years' worth of tax returns for Mr. Trump.
Sept. 19, 2019
The lawyers of Mr. Trump have sued to protect his tax return.
The lawsuit was filed at the U.S. District Court of Manhattan. It argued that an investigation into a president in office could not be conducted criminally. This led to a long delay.
July 9, 2020
Mr. Vance achieves his first major victory in the U.S. Supreme Court.
After the appeals court ruled against Trump, the case reached the Supreme Court. The justices decided that the presidency does not shield Trump from criminal investigations and that he has no right to refuse to release his tax returns.
The decision gave Mr. Trump the chance to object to Mr. Vance’s subpoena in a different way.
The investigation is intensifying.
The prosecutors interviewed the employees of Mr. Trump's main bank and insurer and issued a number of new subpoenas.
In another court filing, the district attorney's offices indicated that they had grounds for investigating President Obama on tax fraud.
Feb. 22, 2021
The Supreme Court has denied Mr. Trump's last attempt to prevent the release of his tax returns.
The short unsigned order was both a defeat for Mr. Trump as well as a turning-point in Mr. Vance’s investigation.
Eight years' worth of financial records was handed to Mr. Vance’s office just hours later.
March 1, 2021
The focus of the investigation is on a senior executive.
Allen H. Weisselberg was the long-serving Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization. In the spring, Vance's prosecutors targeted him in an attempt to get him to cooperate with their investigation.
Prosecutors were interested in whether Mr. Weisselberg received valuable benefits from the Trump Organization as an untaxed form of compensation.
July 1, 2021
The Trump Organization has been charged with running an 15-year tax scam.
After Mr. Weisselberg refused testify against Mr. Trump, the prosecutors filed charges against Mr. Weisselberg and the Trump company. They claimed that the company had helped its executives to evade tax by providing them with free cars and apartments, which were kept hidden from authorities.
JAN. 1, 2022
New Manhattan District Attorney takes office
Alvin L. Bragg took over after Mr. Vance. Both are Democrats.
Mr. Bragg is a former federal prosecution. He retained Mark F. Pomerantz who has extensive experience as a federal prosecutor.
Feb. 23, 2022
Two prosecutors have resigned, putting the future of the investigation in doubt.
Pomerantz & Dunne suspended their presentation of evidence to the grand jury after Mr. Bragg voiced his reservations. After a month, they resigned in protest over Bragg's decision to not proceed with the indictment.
Mr. Pomerantz claimed that in his resignation letter which The New York Times obtained later, Mr. Trump was guilty of multiple felonies.
Aug. 18, 2022
The investigation of Mr. Bragg continues.
The district attorney has publicly spoken out for the first-time about the investigation into Mr. Trump's office after weeks of criticism. His message was simple: the investigation would continue.
Aug. 18, 2022
Allen Weisselberg pleads guilt and agrees testify against Trump Organization.
The chief financial officer, who had worked for the company he served nearly 50 years, refused to go after Mr. Trump personally but agreed to testify in the October trial.
Early Summer 2022
The prosecution turns back to hush-money
After several months of investigation, Mr. Bragg’s prosecutors have returned to the original focus of the long-running probe: a payment made to Stormy Daniels. She is a pornographic actress who claimed to have had a relationship with Donald Trump.
Dec. 24, 2022
The district attorney has won a major victory by convicting the Trump Organization.
Mr. Bragg’s prosecutors convinced a jury of the guilt of the family business of Mr. Trump, proving that it was guilty of fraud in tax and other crimes.
The district attorney appoints a grand jury.
The grand jury heard from nine witnesses about the payment of hush money over the course of the next three-month period.
The prosecutors indicate that an indictment will be likely and offer Mr. Trump the chance to testify at a grand jury.
It would be rare to inform a potential defendant of an imminent indictment without bringing charges against him.
March 18, 2023
Mr. Trump calls for protests and predicts that he will be arrested.
The former president, without knowing it directly, posted on his Truth Social page that he was going to be arrested in three days and tried to rally his supporters. He quickly walked back his prediction, and was not arrested that day.
March 30, 2023
The grand jury has voted to indict Donald Trump
The charges against the presidents, whether current or past, are yet to be known.
March 21, 2023, 7:17 p.m. ETMarch 21, 2023, 7:17 p.m.
Kate Christobek and Ben Protess
The kind of case which enthuses prosecutors, and mesmerizes jury: a celebrity defendant who authorizes a secret payment to cover up an affair with a pornstar.
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has now charged Donald J. Trump with a similar case. This is a very daunting set of facts for the former president. Michael D. Cohen will testify about how Mr. Trump told him to pay Stormy Daniels and reimbursed him.
Prosecutors also have to work within the laws. Alvin L. Bragg may be forced to make a tricky move, linking the cover-up of hush money -- which could violate state law -- with a federal elections.
For now, the indictment remains sealed, so its contents are unknown. Mr. Bragg may have accused any number of crimes. It is possible that the case relies upon a legal theory which has not been evaluated by a court.
New York Times reviews and interviews with experts in election law strongly suggest that New York State prosecutors have not filed any election law cases involving federal campaigns. A court may throw out or limit a case brought against anyone, even a former US president.
The case may hinge on how Mr. Trump, and his company the Trump Organization reimbursed Mr. Cohen after he paid $130,000 to Ms. Daniels. Cohen said that internal Trump Organization records incorrectly classified the reimbursements under legal expenses. This helped to conceal the true purpose of the payments. (Mr. Trump’s lawyers deny this.)
According to legal experts, the district attorney's office in New York has built its white-collar practice around the false business record charge. According to the data maintained by the office, the false business records charge has been the mainstay of the district prosecutor's white-collar practices. Since Mr. Bragg assumed office in 2022 prosecutors have filed over 117 felony charges of this charge against 29 individuals and businesses.
For falsifying records of business to be considered a felony and not a misdemeanor by Mr. Bragg, his prosecutors would have to show that the 'intent' to defraud included an intention to conceal or commit a second crime.