A Manhattan grand jury has indicted former President Donald Trump in connection with so-called hush money payments to Stormy Daniels in 2016, according to a report.
The felony indictment was filed under seal by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, according to The New York Times, and will likely be announced within days. At that point, Trump will be compelled to surrender and face arraignment, according to the report.
A lawyer for Trump confirmed an indictment to the Associated Press. The former president is now the first former president in U.S. history to ever face criminal charges.
The lead prosecutors in the case met with the grand jury on Thursday and read them the criminal statutes before they voted, the report said. A few hours later the prosecutors walked into the court clerk’s office and began filing the indictment.
The news comes as The Wall Street Journal reported that District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office has started examining an alleged $150,000 payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
The report said that prosecutors could use the alleged hush money payment to McDougal to bring additional potential charges against Trump. Prosecutors could also use the McDougal evidence to try to establish an alleged pattern of conduct by the former president since alleged participants have claimed that Trump played a key role in the deals, the report said.
David Pecker, the former CEO of American Media, publisher of the National Enquirer, gave testimony this month that tied Trump directly to the payment to McDougal “and to an alleged broader scheme to suppress negative stories about Mr. Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign,” the report said.
Lawyers for the former president have claimed that he was not aware of the payment and he has denied having an affair with McDougal.
McDougal claims that the alleged 10-month affair started in 2006 and that she broke it off in April 2007 because she felt guilty about it. The timeline, if accurate, would mean that the affair started a few months after Barron Trump was born in March 2006.
Trump faces additional legal jeopardy in three other criminal investigations into him, including a federal investigation into his efforts to stay in power after the 2020 election, an investigation in Georgia into his efforts to stay in power after the 2020 election, and another federal investigation into his handling of U.S. government records after leaving office.