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Highlights and analysis: Donald Trump indicted in hush money probe

A Manhattan grand jury voted Thursday to indict former President Donald Trump in an investigation into a hush money payment from 2016. The exact charge or charges are unknown.

What to know about Trump's indictment

  • A Manhattan grand jury voted Thursday to indict former President Donald Trump, three sources said.
  • The indictment comes in New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg's investigation into a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels during Trump's 2016 campaign.
  • The exact charge or charges are unknown, because the grand jury indictment was filed under seal. Bragg had been focusing on a felony charge of falsifying business records, which carries a maximum prison sentence of four years.
  • Trump and his lawyers were notified of his indictment and have called it a political attack, saying he has not committed a crime.
  • Live coverage of Trump's indictment continues here.

Trump rages at judge who is expected to oversee his arraignment

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Trump on Friday lashed out at the New York judge who is expected to preside over the former president's arraignment next week.

"The Judge 'assigned' to my Witch Hunt Case, a 'Case' that has NEVER BEEN CHARGED BEFORE, HATES ME," Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform.

"His name is Juan Manuel Marchan, was hand picked by Bragg & the Prosecutors, & is the same person who 'railroaded' my 75 year old former CFO, Allen Weisselberg, to take a 'plea' deal (Plead GUILTY, even if you are not, 90 DAYS, fight us in Court, 10 years (life!) in jail. He strong armed Allen, which a judge is not allowed to do, & treated my companies, which didn’t 'plead,' VICIOUSLY. APPEALING!" Trump said.

The judge's name is actually Juan Merchan, acting justice for the New York County Supreme Court. A court administration official told NBC News on Thursday that he would oversee Trump's arraignment. The judge recently presided over the Trump Organization trial, which resulted in guilty verdicts.

Trump indicted on about 30 counts of document fraud, sources say

There are about 30 counts of document fraud-related charges in the indictment against Trump, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The indictment remains sealed, so the exact charges are not publicly known, according to a source familiar with the matter. It is at the discretion of the Manhattan district attorney's office if they choose to seek to unseal the indictment before Tuesday when Trump is expected to be arraigned.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's going to N.Y. on Tuesday: 'We MUST protest the unconstitutional WITCH HUNT!'

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., tweeted Friday that she plans to go to New York City on Tuesday, which is when Trump is expected to be arraigned. She suggested that she plans to protest the former president's indictment and seemed to encourage Republicans to do the same.

The comment comes after Greene said earlier this month that Republicans don't need to protest Trump's possible arrest.

Bragg's office re-emphasizes it won't submit to GOP committee chairmen requests that interfere with Trump probe

The Manhattan district attorney's office said in a new letter to several GOP committee chairmen Friday that it will not submit to any requests that "interfere" with the office's Trump investigation.

“Like any other defendant, Mr. Trump is entitled to challenge these charges in court and avail himself of all processes and protections that New York State’s robust criminal procedure affords,” the office's general counsel, Leslie Dubeck, wrote about the Trump indictment. “What neither Mr. Trump nor Congress may do is interfere with the ordinary course of proceedings in New York State.”

Dubeck reiterated that the House Judiciary, Oversight and Administration committees lack the authority to intervene in a state criminal prosecution, and the DA office's use of federal funds is limited and unconnected to its prosecution of Trump.

The letter also accuses the three GOP chairmen — Jim Jordan of Ohio, James Comer of Kentucky, and Bryan Steil of Wisconsin — of contributing to the threat campaign directed at Bragg.

"You and many of your colleagues have chosen to collaborate with Mr. Trump’s efforts to vilify and denigrate the integrity of elected state prosecutors and trial judges and made unfounded allegations," Dubeck wrote. "We urge you to refrain from these inflammatory accusations, withdraw your demand for information, and let the criminal justice process proceed without unlawful political interference."

Dubeck added that the office would be willing to meet with committee staff to discuss their requests.

Fact-checking Trump attorney's claim that the FEC declined to probe hush money payment

Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina claimed Friday on the "TODAY" show that the Federal Election Commission “turned this down, they said there was no crime” in regard to the illegal campaign contribution that Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to making to Trump’s campaign through the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels.

That statement is misleading at best. The FEC took no action on the case because it was paralyzed: Two Democratic commissioners wanted to move forward with an investigation, while the two Republicans did not. One Democrat was absent on the day of the vote and one Republican was recused.

In December 2020, the FEC issued an internal report from its Office of General Counsel that said it had found “reason to believe” the Trump campaign had violated campaign finance law “knowingly and willfully.”

FEC lawyers had recommended among other things that the commission “Find reason to believe that Donald J. Trump knowingly and willfully violated 52 U.S.C. § 30116(f) by knowingly accepting excessive contributions from Michael D. Cohen.”

Two of the Democratic commissioners, Shana Broussard and Ellen Weintraub, criticized the inaction in a letter released publicly.

“To conclude that a payment, made 13 days before Election Day to hush up a suddenly newsworthy 10-year-old story, was not campaign-related, without so much as conducting an investigation, defies reality,” they wrote.

Trump attorney: Legal team will try to dismiss case before trial

Attorney Jim Trusty, who is representing Trump in the classified documents case, said Friday on CNN that he expects Trump's legal team in the hush money case will try to dismiss to the charges against the former president before it even goes to trial.

"I would think in very short order, you’ll see a motion to dismiss — or several motions to dismiss," Trusty said, adding that he expects to see pre-trial motions to dismiss in "days."

Trusty said Trump's lawyers will likely argue that the legal theory underpinning the charges does not hold water — an issue that even some impartial legal experts have raised. But Trusty, like others who have publicly commented on the case, acknowledged that it's impossible to know until the indictment and the evidence supporting it are unsealed.


Manhattan D.A. wanted Trump to surrender on Friday, former president's lawyer says

Adam Reiss

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Adam Reiss and Rebecca Shabad

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg wanted Trump to turn himself in and surrender on Friday, according to Joe Tacopina, attorney for the former president.

Tacopina, along with other aides, rebuffed the request, telling NBC News that the U.S. Secret Service needed more time to prepare. 

The Secret Service, however, denies this. Sources said Trump’s Secret Service detail could be ready to transport him to New York at a moment’s notice and they are simply taking orders based on the date Bragg and Trump’s defense team agree to. 

Tacopina’s version of events was first reported by Politico.

'No credible threats' to NYC, says mayor's office

Gabe Gutierrez

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Gabe Gutierrez and Rebecca Shabad

New York Mayor Eric Adams has been in communication with the city's police commissioner, Keechant Sewell, about public safety issues, said press secretary Fabien Levy.

"The NYPD continues to monitor all activity and there are no credible threats to the city at this time. The NYPD always remains prepared to respond to events happening on the ground and keep New Yorkers safe," Levy said.

There was a visible police presence in lower Manhattan on Friday morning, along with the barricades that were put up earlier this month. 

Biden says he has 'no comment' on Trump indictment

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

The president took a few questions from reporters outside the White House on Friday morning and repeatedly said he had no comment on Trump's indictment.

Biden then boarded Marine One with first lady Jill Biden. They are traveling to Rolling Fork, Mississippi, to view the damage caused by major storms, including a massive tornado last weekend.

Prosecutors not expected to ask judge to unseal indictment Friday

Prosecutors are not expected to ask a judge to unseal the Trump indictment on Friday, according to a source with direct knowledge of the court proceedings.

Joe Tacopino, Trump's lawyer, said in an interview on NBC's "TODAY" show that he hasn't been told yet when the indictment will be unsealed and made accessible to the public.

But he predicted that would happen early next week, likely on Tuesday. 

Trump lawyer says 'zero' chance former president will take a plea deal, won't 'hole up in Mar-a-Lago'

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina on Friday said that there is "zero chance" the former president will take a plea deal instead of letting the case go to trial and indicated Trump will surrender.

"President Trump will not take a plea deal on this case. It’s not gonna happen," Tacopina said in an interview on NBC's "TODAY" show. "There’s no crime. I don’t know if it’s gonna make it to trial because we have substantial legal challenges"

Asked if Trump plans to voluntarily surrender for his arraignment, Tacopina said they are working on the logistics now, but Trump is "not going to hole up in Mar-a-Lago."

Trump's legal team has not been informed yet about when the indictment will be unsealed, but predicted, "I'd say we're talking about early next week, likely Tuesday, but again, that's still to be determined."

Tacopina said that Trump's team doesn't know how many counts the former president is facing and what the charges are. Reacting to a report that there are more than 30 charges, Tacopina said that would mean "they’ve taken each transaction, each check, each payment, each entry and made a separate charge."

When Trump first learned that the grand jury voted to indict him, Tacopina said "initially, he was shocked" and then eventually he got into a "typical Donald Trump posture where he's ready to be combative on something that he believes is an injustice."

Asked if the confidentiality agreement with adult film star Stormy Daniels ever went to a third party like the IRS, an insurance company or anyone outside the Trump Organization, Tacopino emphatically said that "they were internal."

"This was a personal resolution for personal matter that would have been made irrespective of the campaign. So with those facts together, there is no crime," he said.

What comes next in the legal process

When will the indictment be made public? Will Trump be handcuffed? Will there be cameras in the courtroom?

Here’s what we know about what happens next in the legal proceeding.

Read the full story here.

Don Jr. lashes out at Pelosi for saying 'everyone has the right to a trial to prove innocence'

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Donald Trump Jr. posted on Truth Social overnight lashing out at former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who reacted to Trump's indictment on Twitter.

"A right to 'prove innocence?' Ummmm … that’s not how it works drunk lady. I would have thought that after spending a few millennia in Washington DC should know that, but apparently making millions as a public servant while insider trading has given her a false sense of 'the law,'" he wrote.

Prosecutors questioned witnesses about alleged hush money payment to a second woman

Adam Reiss

Garrett Haake and Adam Reiss

Two sources familiar with the Manhattan grand jury’s work say prosecutors also questioned some witnesses about a previous alleged hush money payment in 2016 involving Trump, this one to former playboy playmate Karen McDougal.

McDougal had said she began a monthslong relationship with Trump in 2006. At the time, Trump would have been married to Melania Trump for less than two years. He denied having an affair with McDougal.

Prosecutors’ apparent interest in McDougal’s case was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. It was not immediately clear whether any charge or charges Trump faces relate to that earlier alleged payment.

Rep. Stefanik vows to investigate Bragg

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

Rep. Elise Stafanik, a top Republican in the House, vowed to investigate Bragg for the indictment.

"This is unprecedented election interference from corrupt Socialist District Attorney Alvin Bragg. The radical Far Left will stop at nothing to persecute Joe Biden’s chief political opponent President Trump ahead of the election," she wrote on Twitter. "The @HouseGOP will hold Alvin Bragg accountable."

Both supporters and opponents gather outside Trump's estate

The Associated Press

Hours after word of the indictment emerged, Trump supporters and opponents gathered outside his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Kathy Clark, a 75-year-old retired police officer from suburban Palm Beach County, stood along the road holding a “Trump Won” banner. She called Michael Cohen a liar and the indictment a farce.

“Look at Bill Clinton and his girls in the White House. I don’t care about Trump’s personal life — that’s between him, his wife and God,” Clark said.

Across the street, Victoria Doyle, a Palm Beach County lawyer, stood alone holding a sign saying “He Lost.”

“I’m celebrating our justice system, holding somebody accountable for his crimes,” Doyle said. “This man has used and abused our system for years and continuously lied to people, manipulated people, hired countless lawyers to intimidate people.”

Photo: Trump supporters outside Mar-a-Lago

A New York grand jury has voted to indict former US president Donald Trump over hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, multiple US media reported on March 30, 2023.
Supporters of former President Donald Trump protested near the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, on Thursday night. Chandan Khanna / AFP - Getty Images

Biden silent on Trump’s indictment as he plots 20-state tour to talk jobs

WASHINGTON — Trump’s legal woes just grew exponentially worse. And the man he may well face in the 2024 general election is refusing to gloat.

Biden gave no statement Thursday after Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury — one of few high officials who refrained from commenting.

For Biden, there is little upside to speaking out or trying to capitalize on the development in the case, which involves a payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election his predecessor won. Biden entered office promising to respect prosecutors’ independence. Anything he said about Trump’s legal troubles would risk validating a Republican argument that he’s the mastermind of it all.

What Biden is doing instead is running a re-election campaign in everything but name. There’s no campaign manager yet, no TV ads, no re-election headquarters. For now, Biden doesn’t need them, allies say.

Read the full story here.

'A sad and sobering historic day,' Adam Schiff says

Trump's indictment marked a "sad and sobering historic day in the life of our country," Rep. Adam Schiff said, speaking on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC on Thursday night.

"It is also I think a vindication of the rule of law, and the principle that people should be held accountable whether they’re rich and powerful, whether they’re presidents or former presidents, or whether they’re ordinary citizens," Schiff, who was the lead House impeachment manager for Trump’s first impeachment, as well as a member of the Jan. 6 committee, said.

However, Schiff also expressed concerns, saying it was "worrying to see, once again Donald Trump engaged and inciting his supporters, essentially threatening death and destruction if he were indicted as he’s now been. And it demonstrates, I think, the continuing peril for the country."

"I would just say it would be more perilous if we didn’t observe the rule of law," he said.

'Where's Hunter?' Trump writes hours after learning of indictment

Hours after learning about his indictment, Trump invoked a favorite refrain: "Where's Hunter?"

Trump posted the reference to the president's son, Hunter Biden, on his social media platform Truth Social in the early hours of Friday morning, just after 2:45 a.m. ET.

It comes after lawyers for Hunter Biden recently ramped up their legal offensive against top Trump allies by filing a countersuit regarding the alleged dissemination of the younger Biden’s electronic data.


Former Jan. 6 committee chairman: 'No one is above the law!'

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who chaired the Jan. 6 committee, wrote on Twitter that "no one is above the law," in response to Trump's indictment.

"A presidential indictment is a stain on our democracy," Thompson said in a statement. "Trump must be held accountable."


What to look for when the indictment is unsealed

Now that a Manhattan grand jury has indicted Trump, all eyes will be on the actual indictment — the legal document that outlines the charges.

Here are five legal issues to look out for when the court papers are made public.

Read the full story here.

Fox News host mocks Bragg's weight

Fox News' Jesse Waters made jokes about Bragg's weight following Trump's indictment.

As video from outside Bragg's office appeared to show him approaching a vehicle, Waters commented: “I think actually we see Bragg, he’s the big one, just got into the SUV there, no statement, nothing. He’ll probably go home and eat."

NBC News reported earlier that Bragg left his office Thursday flanked by his security detail and did not make any comment as he got into a waiting SUV.


Former impeachment manager: Trump indictment is a 'somber day' for America

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., called the indictment of Trump a "somber day for America."

Swalwell, who was an impeachment manager while Trump was on trial in the Senate, has been a frequent target of Trump and his supporters.

"It's also a time to put faith in our judicial system," Swalwell said in a statement. "Donald Trump deserves every protection provided to him by the Constitution and due process under our rule of law."

Rep. Gosar defends Trump: 'He's our guy'

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., a staunch Trump ally, tweeted that the former president remains "our guy."

"The Regime occupying our country and systematically killing America is most afraid of President Donald J. Trump. Period," Gosar wrote.

Late-night comedy quickly launches Trump indictment jokes

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

NBC’s “The Tonight Show” posted a video on Twitter that mashed up Trump clips to the tune of "I'm So Excited" by the Pointer Sisters but substituted the word "indicted" for "excited."

Trump says he can't get a fair trial in New York

Hours after a Manhattan grand jury indicted him, Trump said he can’t get a fair trial in New York.

In a post on Truth Social, Trump said: “They only brought this Fake, Corrupt, and Disgraceful Charge against me because I stand with the American People, and they know that I cannot get a fair trial in New York.”

Trump, who lives in Florida, is expected to be arraigned Tuesday.

Judge who oversaw Trump Organization trial will preside over Trump's arraignment

Adam Reiss

Adam Reiss and Tim Stelloh

The judge who oversaw the Trump Organization’s tax fraud trial will preside over the former president’s arraignment next week, a court administration official said.

Acting Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan fined the company $1.6 million in January after a jury found it guilty of operating a long-running tax fraud scheme.

Trump is expected to be arraigned Tuesday.

Pence says indictment is 'nothing more than a political prosecution'

Former Vice President Mike Pence, a likely 2024 presidential candidate, defended Trump in a CNN interview Thursday, suggesting the indictment was driven by politics.

“I think the unprecedented indictment of a former president of the United States on a campaign finance issue is an outrage. And it appears for millions of Americans to be nothing more than a political prosecution," Pence told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Asked whether any potential conviction should disqualify Trump, Pence said, "I don't want to talk about hypotheticals," adding that it was also possible that a judge could toss out the case.

Pence, ordered to testify in separate Trump probe: 'I'm going to obey the law'

Sarah Mimms

Pence said on CNN he is meeting with his attorney Friday after a federal judge ordered him to comply with a subpoena in a separate probe into Trump's attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

"We’re going to have an answer in the next several days about the best path forward," he said. A judge ruled Tuesday that Pence had to comply with a subpoena in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation.

"I will obey the law," Pence said, adding: "The rule of law also includes the possibility that we would appeal."

Trump's campaign is selling T-shirts

Olympia Sonnier

Sarah Mimms

Olympia Sonnier and Sarah Mimms

In response to the first indictment of a former president, Trump's 2024 re-election campaign is selling T-shirts.

"What better way to show your support for President Trump and our incredible movement during this dark chapter in our nation’s history than to proudly wear the brand-new 'I Stand with President Trump' T-shirt," the campaign said in an email to supporters Thursday night.

The email asks donors to contribute $47 before midnight to get a shirt "for FREE."

At the heart of Trump’s indictment, an unprecedented test for America

In becoming the first former commander-in-chief ever indicted Thursday, Donald Trump cemented the word that has most defined his eight years at the center of national politics: unprecedented.

Before Trump, no one had won the presidency without previous government service, no president had been impeached twice and no former president had been charged with a crime.

Trump shattered all those barriers.

Read the full story here.

Sen. Tim Scott calls Trump indictment 'a travesty'

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., criticized Bragg as having "weaponized the law" after a grand jury voted to indict Trump.

Scott, who is weighing a presidential bid of his own, decried Bragg as "pro-criminal." Scott's six-sentence statement, which did not mention Trump by name, described his indictment as "a travesty."

"This is a travesty and it should not be happening in the greatest country on Earth," Scott said. "The presumption of innocence is central to our legal system, yet is selectively discarded by those on the far left today. As I travel the country, I hear from families starving for truth. They’re starving for hope. They want the rules to apply to everyone.”

Stormy Daniels tweets that she is sipping champagne and merch orders are 'pouring in'

Stormy Daniels, whose lawyer said she was horseback riding when news broke that Trump had been indicted, tweeted Thursday night that she was sipping champagne and that sales of branded merchandise along with autograph orders were rolling in.

"Thank you to everyone for your support and love! I have so many messages coming in that I can’t respond...also don’t want to spill my champagne #Teamstormy merch/autograph orders are pouring in, too! Thank you for that as well but allow a few extra days for shipment," she wrote.

Senate Democrats' campaign arm is fundraising off Trump's indictment

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee solicited donations Thursday night after news of Trump's indictment broke, saying contributions were needed "to keep Donald Trump’s allies and enablers out of power."

Recipients were asked whether they thought Trump was "unfit" to hold office, and then directed them to a page where they were asked to contribute a donation to help protect the party's Senate majority.


Trump expected to be arraigned Tuesday, lawyer says

Adam Reiss

Trump attorney Susan Necheles said Trump is expected to be arraigned Tuesday. The date could change, however.

Pelosi hopes Trump will 'peacefully' respect justice system

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she hopes Trump will "peacefully' respect the justice system after a Manhattan grand jury indicted him.

“The Grand Jury has acted upon the facts and the law,” Pelosi, the former House speaker, said on Twitter

“No one is above the law, and everyone has the right to a trial to prove innocence,” she said. “Hopefully, the former President will peacefully respect the system, which grants him that right.”

Trump ally Roger Stone hits DeSantis response

Roger Stone, the longtime conservative strategist and Trump ally, is hitting DeSantis' response. He said it was an attempt to recover from his comments last week when he was widely criticized for not having fully come to the former president's defense.

"It is obvious to me that [the] Governor DeSantis statement saying that he would not assist in the extradition of President Trump to New York, is an attempt to recover from bungling the same question last week," Stone said in a text message.

He added that it was "grandstanding," because Trump's lawyers had already said he would go to New York to be arraigned.

"The US Constitution is also clear about the obligation of any state to cooperate in the extradition of a citizen charged in another state," Stone wrote.

Roger Stone
Roger Stone in Buford, Ga., on Nov. 2, 2020.Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call via AP file

Secret Service coordinating with New York authorities

Kelly O'Donnell

More specific conversations between the Secret Service and authorities in New York will take place following a notice that a grand jury has voted to indict Trump, officials said.

The conversations will be about the transportation and security needs for Trump to comply with the legal charges, the officials said.

The Secret Service describes its role as facilitating his transportation and personal protection and not as taking part in the arrest or the surrender itself. It will coordinate with New York authorities and Trump’s counsel for his appearance and movements to provide for a safe surrender.

 

 

Schumer calls for peace, saying Trump is 'subject to the same laws as every American'

Frank Thorp Vproducer and off-air reporter

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., says Trump will face the same legal system as anyone else.

"Mr. Trump is subject to the same laws as every American. He will be able to avail himself of the legal system and a jury, not politics, to determine his fate according to the facts and the law," he said in a statement.

Schumer also called for peace from all sides, saying, "I encourage both Mr. Trump’s critics and supporters to let the process proceed peacefully and according to the law."


Image: Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on March 30, 2023.
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer speaks during a news conference at the Capitol on Thursday.Alex Wong / Getty Images

Josh Hawley repeats 'election interference' claim

Liz Brown-Kaiser

Zoë Richards and Liz Brown-Kaiser

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., repeated Trump's claim that the indictment is a form of election interference in an interview on Fox News, where he claimed the probe had "nothing to do with the law."

“It is a demonstration of raw power. I think the Democrats know this has nothing to do with the law,” Hawley said. “They’re sending a message, and the message is they will use any power that they have to interfere in the next presidential election. They will not willingly allow Donald Trump to run for president. They will not willingly lose the next election.”

Trump's indictment does not bar him from running for president.

Hawley added, "They will do anything, use any kind of power to try and hold on to their own privileges, their own positions, and we’re seeing that tonight."

Josh Hawley, R-Mo., attends a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee markup in Dirksen Building on March 15, 2023.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., at a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee markup March 15. Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Trump niece Mary Trump tweets ‘finally some measure of justice’

Trump's niece Mary Trump wrote a celebratory tweet after news broke that a grand jury has voted to indict her uncle.

“For the victims of Donald, this is finally some measure of justice,” she wrote.

“It’s been a long time coming, but after everything Donald has put this country through, WE HAVE PREVAILED,” she wrote.

Mary Trump has been sharply critical of Donald Trump. She wrote a scathing book about him and once sued him.

Gov. Youngkin, potential Trump 2024 opponent, calls indictment 'beyond belief'

Rose Horowitch

Gary Grumbach and Rose Horowitch

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, accused Bragg of indicting Trump for "pure political gain" and blamed Democrats for "continued attempts to weaponize" the judicial system.

"It is beyond belief that District Attorney Alvin Bragg has indicted a former President and current presidential candidate for pure political gain," Youngkin tweeted.

Youngkin had kept Trump at arm's length, neither criticizing him nor coming out in support of him. But after the indictment, he joined a growing chorus of conservatives backing Trump.

"The left’s continued attempts to weaponize our judicial system erode people’s faith in the American justice system and it needs to stop," Youngkin said.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin speaks during an early vote rally on Nov. 1, 2022.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin speaks at a rally on Nov. 1.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images file

Ted Cruz says indictment signifies 'a moment in the death of the rule of law'

Liz Brown-Kaiser

Liz Brown-Kaiser and Zoë Richards

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called into the conservative "Mark Levin Show" and said the indictment signified "a moment in the death of the rule of law" while suggesting that Trump's opponents were abusing the justice system to re-elect Biden.

“This indictment is utter garbage,” Cruz said on the radio show. “It is baseless. It is frivolous. It has no legal predicate. It is entirely a partisan attack."

Cruz also blasted Bragg, a Democrat, accusing him of taking office last year "filled with hatred for Donald Trump" and determined to do all he could to attack him.

In an earlier statement responding to the indictment, Trump suggested he had been targeted because he's the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination. Cruz leaned into Trump's assertion Thursday.

"They want to interfere in the election," Cruz said. "They want to re-elect Joe Biden, and they’re willing to abuse the justice system to do it."


Image: Ranking Member Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at a hearing with the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Capitol Hill on March 1, 2023.
Ranking Member Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at a hearing on Capitol Hill on March 1.Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

All uniformed NYPD officers will be on duty Friday, memo says

Myles Miller

Myles Miller and Tim Stelloh

All uniformed New York City police officers were ordered to be on duty Friday beginning at 7 a.m., according to a police memo obtained by NBC News.

The memo, issued at 5:33 p.m. Thursday, said the order applied to all officers regardless of rank. Officers should prepare for deployment, it says.

The memo also reminded officers to be familiar with department identification policies and “unusual disorder” duties.

Officers “will remain prepared for mobilization at any time during their assigned tour,” the memo says.

Nikki Haley slams Trump's indictment as 'revenge'

Rose Horowitch

Nikki Haley, Trump's only confirmed presidential challenger, criticized the indictment as "more about revenge" than justice.

In an appearance on Fox News, Haley said the Manhattan DA was pursuing the case for "political points."

"This is more about revenge than it is about justice," Haley wrote in a tweet featuring her Fox News appearance.

She said the country would be "better off" talking about other issues.

Republican presidential candidate and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley holds a town hall meeting on March 9, 2023 in Nevada, Iowa.
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, a Republican presidential candidate, at a town hall meeting in Nevada, Iowa, on March 9.Scott Olson / Getty Images

Democrat Rep. Gallego, seeking Sinema's Senate seat, warns not to jump to conclusions

Sarah Mimms

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., who is running for the seat held by independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, called for caution Thursday night.

"In America we believe in the rule of law. We should wait to hear from the grand jury before jumping to conclusions," he tweeted.

Gallego has been extremely critical of Sinema's Senate tenure in his campaign. Sinema, who left the Democratic Party late last year, has not announced whether she will seek re-election in 2024.

Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., at the Capitol on June 9, 2022.
Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., at the Capitol on June 9. Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call via AP file

Sen. JD Vance calls indictment a 'grave miscarriage of justice'

Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, responded angrily to Trump's indictment, saying in a statement that it represents a "political persecution masquerading as law."

Vance is one of Trump's staunchest allies in the Senate — one of five Republicans in the chamber who already have endorsed him in 2024. (The others are Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, Eric Schmitt of Missouri and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama.)

In his statement, Vance reaffirmed his support.

"Donald Trump is the former president of the United States, the leader of our nation’s political opposition, and the presumptive Republican nominee in 2024," said Vance, whose victory in a competitive GOP primary last year is largely credited to Trump's endorsement. "Alvin Bragg’s decision to indict him is blatant election interference and a direct assault on the tens of millions of Americans who support him.

"Instead of working to improve the lives of the Americans they are supposed to represent, the ruling party is focused on kneecapping their greatest threat in the next election," Vance added. "The American people will see this for exactly what it is: a grave miscarriage of justice."

Image: Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, delivers remarks during a hearing held by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on March 22, 2023.
Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, speaks at a hearing on Capitol hill on March 22.Win McNamee / Getty Images

CPAC Chair Matt Schlapp slams 'abuse of power' from Manhattan DA

Olympia Sonnier

Rose Horowitch

Olympia Sonnier and Rose Horowitch

One of the country’s most prominent conservative leaders, Matt Schlapp, who runs the Conservative Political Action Coalition, criticized Trump's indictment as "un-American" and warned of further political "abuse."

"We are appalled and strongly condemn the abuse of power coming from the New York District Attorney," Schlapp wrote in a statement. "Americans have lost confidence in institutions and government experts because truth has become a casualty to raw political power."

"The renewed prosecutorial pursuit and indictment of President Trump is an outrageous breach of constitutional norms and a continuation of his maniacal political prosecution," he added.

Schlapp, who is accused of fondling a campaign staffer, which he denies, said that without the "proper countermeasures," Democrats would use the judicial system against their opponents.

"President Donald J. Trump is not the first victim of this abuse, and he will certainly not be the last," Schlapp said.

Image: Matt Schlapp listens during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on March 3, 2023 in National Harbor, Md.
Matt Schlapp at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on March 3.Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

Bragg's office says it contacted Trump's lawyer to coordinate surrender

A Bragg spokesperson said in a statement that the district attorney's office contacted Trump's lawyer Thursday evening to make arrangements for his surrender, adding that details of his arraignment date are pending.

“This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal," the spokesperson said, referring to the state's highest trial court. "Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”

Trump just got indicted; here's what happens next ...

JoElla Carman

Rose Horowitch

JoElla Carman and Rose Horowitch

Trump's indictment means he is formally charged with a crime. But there are still several steps before his case gets to a potential trial.

After the indictment, Trump will be arrested and taken into custody. He will most likely have a mug shot and fingerprints taken.

Trump will then be arraigned in court, where he will hear charges and enter a plea. Two sources familiar with the situation said he is likely to be arraigned next week. Trump will be either jailed or released while pretrial hearings take place.

The case can then be dismissed or it can go to trial. If Trump is found guilty at trial, he would then be sentenced.

D.A. Bragg has left his office

Susan Kroll

Bragg left his office just before 7:15 p.m.

Image: Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg leaves his office in New York on March 30, 2023.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg leaves his office in New York on Thursday.Ed Jones / AFP - Getty Images

Greene defends Trump as 'innocent' says 'gloves are off'

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a prominent ally of the former president, doggedly defended him on Twitter.

"My President is innocent and the only one standing in the way of these modern day tyrants, just like our founding fathers did, to protect each of us from evil," Greene wrote. Minutes later, she added: "Our side chants 'lock her up' and their side is going to get a mug shot based on a witch hunt. It’s time to change that. Gloves are off."

NBC News reported in January that Greene, who is in her second term, is angling to be Trump’s running mate in 2024.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on March 3, 2023, in Fort Washington, Md.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on March 3, in Fort Washington, Md.Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

McCarthy says Manhattan DA 'irreparably damaged' the country

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg “irreparably damaged” the country “in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election” after a grand jury indicted Trump.

“As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump,” McCarthy said on Twitter.

“The American people will not tolerate this injustice, and the House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account,” McCarthy said.


Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., at the Capitol on March 8, 2023.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., at the Capitol on March 8.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Ron DeSantis slams Trump indictment as a 'weaponization of the legal system'

Rose Horowitch

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a likely opponent of Trump's for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said his state will not assist in an extradition request if one is made for the former president.

"The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head," DeSantis tweeted. "It is un-American."

DeSantis accused the Manhattan district attorney of "stretching the law" to target a political opponent.

"Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda," he said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in Des Moines, Iowa, on March 10, 2023.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in Des Moines, Iowa, on March 10.Scott Olson / Getty Images file

Stormy Daniels was horseback riding when she heard indictment news, lawyer says

Stephanie Ruhle

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Stephanie Ruhle and Rebecca Shabad

Stormy Daniels’ attorney Clark Brewster told NBC News that his client was horseback riding when the news of Trump's indictment broke, went inside and was totally surprised to see the news.

Trump expected to surrender to DA early next week, lawyer says

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Jesse Rodriguez

Adam Reiss

Rose Horowitch

Jesse Rodriguez, Adam Reiss and Rose Horowitch

Trump is expected to surrender to the Manhattan DA’s office early next week, his attorney Joe Tacopina told NBC News.

Two sources familiar with the situation also said Trump’s attorneys are already in touch with prosecutors and expect him to be arraigned next week.

Possible Trump primary rival Asa Hutchinson: 'A dark day'

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican who has been at odds with Trump and is considering seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, said it is "a dark day for America when a former president is indicted on criminal charges."

"While the grand jury found credible facts to support the charges, it is important that the presumption of innocence follows Mr. Trump," Hutchinson, a former federal prosecutor, added in a statement. "We need to wait on the facts and for our American system of justice to work like it does for thousands of Americans every day."

Hutchinson concluded by emphasizing that he believes "the decision on America's next President [should] be made at the ballot box and not in the court system."

"Donald Trump should not be the next president," Hutchinson said, "but that should be decided by the voters." 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks in Simi Valley, Calif. on Nov. 30, 2022.Hans Gutknecht / MediaNews Group via Getty Images file

Trump refers to his indictment as 'an attack on our country'

In a post on his social media platform, Trump lashed out at "thugs and radical left monsters" involved in the probe, insisting that they were targeting him as the leading candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination for president.

"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," Trump wrote on Truth Social. "THE USA IS NOW A THIRD WORLD NATION, A NATION IN SERIOUS DECLINE. SO SAD!"

Trump sought to paint the probe as a new form of election interference this week on Fox News.

Trump, who has maintained that the payment to Daniels was not a campaign contribution, told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Tuesday that Bragg’s probe was an effort to cheat in elections by his opponents. “It’s called election interference,” he said.

Moderate GOP Rep. Don Bacon isn't rushing to Trump's defense

Moderate Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., is not rushing to Trump's defense.

“I trust our legal system," he told NBC News. "There’s checks and balances with a jury, judges and appeals. President Trump will be able to make his defense and we’ll all see if this is a partisan prosecution or not."

Here's how Donald Trump, Jr. found out about the indictment

Elyse Perlmutter-Gumbiner

Amanda TerkelPolitics Managing Editor

Elyse Perlmutter-Gumbiner and Amanda Terkel

On his Rumble show, "Triggered with Don Jr.," the former president's son talked about how he heard about the indictment.

"I found out about this about 15 minutes before I went live," he said, adding, "I was literally getting in my car to drive to an event ... and when like my phone starts blowing up and I’m like, 'Oh crap.' So I don’t even know what it means yet."

"They got him now and they’ll do this and they’ll get their show trial or whatever," he continued, "at least the show perp walk or that’s what they’ll try."

Stormy Daniels, at center of case, acknowledges Trump indictment

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

Adult film star Stormy Daniels, at the center of the hush money case, acknowledged the indictment of Trump by retweeting her lawyer on Twitter, saying, "Thank you."

Kari Lake says indictment 'only strengthens our resolve to fight'

Arizona Republican Kari Lake responded to Trump's indictment with three tweets Thursday, saying the news would make Trump "stronger."

"I didn’t think I could possibly support him more, but this political Witch Hunt only strengthens our resolve to fight," she tweeted.

Lake vigorously promoted Trump's lies about the 2020 presidential election during her failed 2022 campaign for Arizona governor, and went on to make claims of election fraud after her own defeat.

She echoed the false claims in her tweets Thursday.

Kari Lake, Republican candidate for Arizona governor, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Aug. 5, 2022.
Kari Lake at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, on Aug. 5, 2022.LM Otero / AP file

"The Radical Left and their weaponized criminal justice system have crossed all legal & ethical lines in an attempt to destroy the 45th & 47th President of the United State of America Donald J. Trump," she tweeted.

Trump lawyer: 'He will be vindicated'

Uwa Ede-Osifo

"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," said Trump's attorney Alina Habba.

 "He will be vindicated."

Lanny Davis says Michael Cohen spoke 'truth to power'

Adam Reiss

Rose Horowitch

Adam Reiss and Rose Horowitch

Lanny Davis, the attorney for Michael Cohen, praised his client for the "brave decision" to come out as a key witness against his former boss.

"On July 2, 2018, Michael Cohen made the brave decision to speak truth to power and accept the consequences," Davis wrote in a statement. "And he has done so ever since."

He added, "I am proud to have been his lawyer and his friend through this long journey on the path to justice and accountability."

Liberal House members cheer indictment

Liberals in the House are celebrating Trump’s indictment on Twitter.

“Grand Jury votes to indict Trump!” tweeted Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., a member of the progressive Squad and a frequent target of Trump.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., another Trump target, tweeted: “SO Trump finally got indicted! I predicted he would and I predicted that Stormy Daniels would get him! Sometimes justice works! #TrumpIndictment”

“May justice be served, finally,” added Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas.

Freshman Rep. Summer Lee, D-Pa., tweeted one word: “Good”

Trump's first public comment: Democrats have 'done the unthinkable — indicting a completely innocent person'

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

In Trump's first public reaction to being indicted, the former president called the decision "Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history."

The statement released by his 2024 presidential campaign said that the "radical Left Democrats" have engaged in a witch hunt to destroy his MAGA movement.

"You remember it just like I do: Russia, Russia, Russia; the Mueller Hoax; Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine; Impeachment Hoax 1; Impeachment Hoax 2; the illegal and unconstitutional Mar-a-Lago raid; and now this," Trump said. “The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump,’ but now they’ve done the unthinkable — indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant Election Interference."

Trump accused Democrats of cheating "countless times" and "weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent, who just so happens to be a President of the United States and by far the leading Republican candidate for President, has never happened before. Ever."

The former president said that Manhattan District Attorney is "doing Joe Biden’s dirty work" and predicted that the indictment will "will backfire massively on Joe Biden."

"So our Movement, and our Party — united and strong — will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat Joe Biden, and we are going to throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!" he said.

A list of the people at the center of Trump's indictment

Exonerated Central Park Five member on indictment: 'Karma'

Exonerated Central Park Five member Yusef Salaam initially offered only one word in reponse to the news that Trump had been indicted: "Karma."

Salaam later elaborated on Twitter. Now an author and motivational speaker, he emphasized that Trump "never said sorry for calling for my execution."

In 1989 a group of five Black and Latino teenagers were wrongfully convicted of raping a jogger in New York City. Trump took out advertisements in four New York City newspapers calling for the state to adopt the death penalty for the five suspects.

The convictions were vacated in 2002 and the city paid $41 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit in 2014 regarding the case against the five, but Trump refused to apologize for the public gesture.

Trump is first former president to face criminal indictment

The vote to indict Trump adds to the ignominious "firsts" of his single term in office: Trump was the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice and now he is the first former president in U.S. history to face a criminal indictment.

Former President Richard Nixon likely would have faced a criminal investigation for his role in the Watergate scandal, but was pardoned by successor Gerald Ford, while Bill Clinton faced civil, but not criminal, troubles.

Trump was indicted. What happens next?

JoElla Carman


DNC says 'no matter what happens,' Trump still has tight grip on GOP

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

A spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, Ammar Moussa, said in a statement that regardless of how the Trump indictment ends up, he still has a grip on the GOP.

“No matter what happens in Trump’s upcoming legal proceedings, it’s obvious the Republican Party remains firmly in the hold of Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans," the national press secretary said. "We will continue to hold Trump and all Republican candidates accountable for the extreme MAGA agenda that includes banning abortion, cutting Social Security and Medicare, and undermining free and fair elections."


Trump's lawyers say they will 'vigorously fight' vote to indict

Adam Reiss

Rose Horowitch

Adam Reiss and Rose Horowitch

Trump attorneys Susan Necheles and Joseph Tacopina promised to fight the grand jury's vote to indict Trump in a statement to NBC News.

"President Trump has been indicted. He did not commit any crime. We will vigorously fight this political prosecution in Court," the attorneys said.

Trump-roasting group Lincoln Project has no sympathy for former president

The Lincoln Project, the group of conservative activists who worked against Trump, did not mince words in their response to the grand jury vote to indict Trump on Thursday.

"Donald Trump is no victim," the group said in a statement.

"Trump gave money to a porn star to stay quiet about their affair to protect his campaign and covered it up," they added. "The grand jury found sufficient evidence to indict him. This indictment sends the first of many clear messages to the nation that the Rule of Law still has meaning."

GOP Ways and Means chair insists probe has always been focused on 'political gain'

House Ways and Means Chair Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., slammed the investigation and insisted it was dubious legal reasoning that led to the vote to indict.

"This has been all about one thing from the start — targeting Donald Trump for political gain," Smith told NBC News.

"The legal case here is so questionable that any other respecting prosecutor would have long since walked away from it. The truth will be exposed in the days and months ahead.”

Former Trump spokesperson slams 'indictment of a failed nation'

Rose Horowitch

Taylor Budowich, the head of Trump's super PAC, said the grand jury vote to indict the former president was the "indictment of a failed nation," and promised that Trump would be "re-elected in the greatest landslide in American history."

“This is not an indictment of a crime — there was no crime — instead, this news is the indictment of a failed nation," Budowich, CEO of Make America Great Again Inc. and a former spokesperson for Trump, wrote in a statement.

He added, "President Trump is promising to peacefully end the war in Ukraine, dismantle the deep state, and save our country by putting America first. For that, the political elites and powerbrokers have weaponized government to try and stop him. They will fail."

Pollster: Indictment rumors have helped Trump in GOP primary

Republican voters have rallied behind Trump in the weeks leading up to today's grand jury vote, according to a new Fox News poll, heeding Trump's arguments that an indictment would be yet another attack by his political enemies.

“The rumo