Image Credit: ERIK S LESSER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
The first official notice of Donald Trump’s indictment was released to the public on Friday night, March 31. The document was an order from Justice Juan Merchan allowing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to issue a statement that acknowledged the former President’s indictment and that Bragg’s office was negotiating Trump’s surrender, according to The Washington Post. Former New York Times journalist Frank G. Runyeon shared a photo (below) of the document to his Twitter, captioning it, “This is the first document showing the existence of the indictment of the former president.”
NEW: Order from Justice Merchan allowing @ManhattanDA to disclose the existence of the indictment of Donald Trump. @Law360
This is the first document showing the existence of the indictment of the former president. pic.twitter.com/ut7d7U95xH
— Frank G. Runyeon (@frankrunyeon) March 31, 2023
The document is basically a blessing from the judge that Bragg needed in order to announce that there is an actual indictment over the alleged hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, per The Washington Post. It discloses that the grand jury has issued “a true bill” against the former reality star and allows the district attorney to reveal such. The charges against Trump are not discussed in the document, and the indictment itself will remain sealed until Trump’s arraignment, according to the news source.
The arraignment is expected to be held on Tuesday, according to NBC News, where the former Commander in Chief is expected to turn himself in to Bragg’s office. “This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a [New York] Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal,” a spokesperson for the D.A. said, per NBC. “Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”
The first official notice of Trump’s indictment was released on March 30, 2023. (ERIK S LESSER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
After news broke of Trump’s indictment on Thursday, the 76-year-old former steak club owner took to his own social media to react. “These Thugs and Radical Left Monsters have just INDICATED [sic] the 45th President of the United States of America, and the leading Republican candidate, by far, for the 2024 Nomination for President,” he wrote. “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’s rant came almost two weeks after he claimed he expected to be arrested in anticipation of an indictment. Although he didn’t detail why he would be arrested at the time, the case involves the $130,000 payment Daniels received to try to prevent her from sharing her story about her alleged Trump affair during his 2016 campaign. Trump’s then-attorney Michael Cohen paid the entertainer to try to silence her, with Trump’s promise that he would reimburse him. Cohen had claimed that he gave the money on Trump’s order, and because of the nature of the transaction, it could be considered an improper campaign donation, per The New York Times.
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