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Some Republicans take aim at Manhattan DA after Trump indictment

Former President Donald Trump is expected to be arraigned in New York on Tuesday after a grand jury indicted him on charges related to document fraud, sources say.

What happens next in Trump's indictment

  • Former President Donald Trump is expected to be arraigned in New York on Tuesday and is facing about 30 charges related to document fraud, two sources familiar with the matter said.
  • The exact charges are unknown, as the indictment remains sealed.
  • Trump was indicted Thursday by a Manhattan grand jury in District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into hush money Trump allegedly paid ahead of the 2016 election to keep quiet women who said they had affairs with him. Trump has denied the affairs.
  • Trump is the first former president to have been impeached twice and the first to be criminally indicted.
  • The former president and his allies have railed at Bragg, denying any wrongdoing and saying the indictment is purely political. Trump's Republican rivals in the 2024 presidential race have also come to his defense.
  • Live coverage of Trump’s indictment continues here.
62d ago / 2:53 AM UTC

Democrats, Republicans fundraise off of Trump indictment news


Both parties have been quick to fundraise off of the news that Trump was indicted, potentially boosting their campaign coffers on the final day of the first fundraising quarter.

Trump has sent at least five fundraising emails, including quickly after the news broke Thursday evening with the subject line, “BREAKING: PRESIDENT TRUMP INDICTED.” The pitch asked donors to “make a contribution — of truly any amount — to defend our movement from the never-ending witch hunts and WIN the WHITE HOUSE in 2024.” Trump’s campaign is also selling t-shirts with “I stand with Trump — 3.30.2023” written on them, noting the date Trump was indicted.

Other Republicans blasted the news to their fundraising lists, seeking to capitalize on the potential GOP outrage. An email pitch from GOP Rep. Jim Banks, who is running for Senate in Indiana, said Trump has been indicted on “FALSE POLITICAL CHARGES,” even though the charges are not yet public.

Another email that initially appeared to come from “Trump News Alert” on Thursday night was actually from Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley’s campaign. It urged donors to “Stand with President Trump,” directing them to a fundraising page for Hawley, who is up for re-election next year.

A Democrat running against Hawley, Lucas Kunce, also seized on the news, blasting out an image of a tweet Hawley sent earlier this month after Trump claimed he would soon be arrested, where Hawley accused Democrats of wanting to arrest a political opponent and called them “a banana republic party.” “This is what we’re up against here in Missouri,” read Kunce’s fundraising pitch. “Missourians deserve better than a fraud and a phony like Josh Hawley representing them in the U.S. Senate.”

And Kunce wasn’t the only Democrat to jump into the fundraising fray. 

Read the full story here.

62d ago / 2:24 AM UTC

N.Y. Young Republican Club to 'rally for Trump' alongside Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene


The New York Young Republican Club said today it plans to "peacefully protest" Trump's indictment on Tuesday, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

"Despite the threat of violence and the media salivating over a chance of J6 2.0 we have proven that if you can protest in support of Trump here, you can anywhere," the organization said in a tweet. The group held a very small gathering last week in support of Trump.

Greene, who is one of Trump's most ardent supporters and closest allies, announced her plans to travel to New York on Tuesday, after Trump's attorneys announced his plans to surrender that day.

"I’m going to New York on Tuesday. We MUST protest the unconstitutional WITCH HUNT!" she tweeted.

Two weeks ago, Greene said people should not protest his indictment.

62d ago / 2:02 AM UTC

House Democrats allow staffers to work from home as safety precaution

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Some Democratic House members are letting their staff work from home in the coming days, citing safety concerns after Trump's indictment.

Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell’s office said aides worked from home today and will be monitoring the situation into next week. Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips’ office confirmed that staff will be working remotely on Tuesday, when Trump is expected to be arraigned in Manhattan.

The work-from-home policy was first reported by Axios.

In a Truth Social post on March 24, Trump warned of potential “death & destruction” if he faced criminal charges. Some Democratic lawmakers viewed the message as a threat, reminiscent of the Jan. 6 riot.

On the other side of the Capitol, the U.S. Capitol Police and the Senate sergeant-at-arms said in an email to all Senate offices today that “law enforcement is not tracking any specific, credible threats against the Capitol or state offices,” but “there is potential for demonstration activity” in the wake of Trump’s indictment.

Both chambers of Congress are out for a pre-planned recess that ends on April 17.

62d ago / 1:37 AM UTC

62d ago / 1:00 AM UTC

Who's Judge Juan Merchan? Trump says he 'hates me' but lawyers say he's fair

Donald Trump is dismissing him as a hater, but Judge Juan Merchan, who’s expected to preside over the former president’s arraignment, is a veteran jurist with a reputation for being stern yet compassionate.

“He’s a serious jurist, smart and even tempered,” said Ron Kuby, a longtime defense lawyer in Manhattan. “He’s not one of those judges who yells at lawyers, and is characterized as a no-nonsense judge. But he’s always in control of the courtroom.”

Barry Kamins, a New York judge turned defense lawyer, said his 60-year-old former colleague “is well-known, even in difficult cases, to exhibit excellent temperament, integrity and a solid knowledge of the law.”

Trump has taken a different view of Merchan, the acting state Supreme Court justice who is set to preside over Tuesday’s arraignment and likely oversee any subsequent trial.

Read the full story here.

62d ago / 12:32 AM UTC

Cohen says Trump is using 'mob language' in wake of indictment

Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, said today that the former president is speaking in "mob code" as he rails against the Manhattan DA's probe and his indictment.

“What Donald Trump is doing is he’s using that mob language,” Cohen told MSNBC’s Joy Reid.

According to Cohen, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to a federal campaign violation in connection with the Stormy Daniels hush money payment, Trump was using coded language that included a message for witnesses to “be concerned,” while also encouraging his supporters “to do or think that this is what Donald Trump wants you to do, without Donald Trump actually coming out and saying it.”

Cohen said he has concerns about his own safety. "I'm concerned for my safety every day. I'm concerned for my family," Cohen said.

62d ago / 11:42 PM UTC

Trump campaign says it's raised $4 million since indictment

In the 24 hours following his indictment, Trump raised over $4 million in donations, with more than 25% coming from first-time donors, his campaign said.

Trump, who has been the GOP’s most prolific fundraiser in recent years, was quick to appeal to his base for money as soon as news broke that he had been indicted. His campaign is now selling T-shirts with “I stand with Trump — 3.30.2023” written on them, noting the date Trump was indicted.

Today is the last day for candidates and political groups to raise money for the first quarter. Campaign finance reports are due to the Federal Election Commission on April 15.

Read more here.

62d ago / 10:54 PM UTC

62d ago / 10:09 PM UTC

No plans to handcuff Trump when he arrives at courthouse, officials say

There are no plans to handcuff Trump or place him in a holding cell when he arrives at the courthouse on Tuesday, officials familiar with planning for his arraignment said.

Once inside the courthouse, Trump will be escorted to get fingerprinted, but as of now there are no plans to take a mug shot, the officials said.

In an effort to reduce crowds while Trump is at the courthouse, some courtrooms will be adjourned Tuesday afternoon to help ensure safety, the officials said.

It remains unclear if Trump plans to make a public statement after his arraignment.

Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina said tonight that he did not anticipate "anything dramatic" like a mug shot or perp walk, telling Fox News' Sean Hannity that "even if they tried to, that would solidify the notion that [Trump] is being so selectively targeted and treated differently than anyone in the world."

62d ago / 9:25 PM UTC

Stormy Daniels interview with Piers Morgan postponed for unspecified 'security issues'

Piers Morgan's "exclusive" interview with adult film star Stormy Daniels has been pushed, just hours after it was announced.

In a tweet, Morgan blamed the postponement on "security issues."

"Unfortunately, Stormy Daniels has had to suddenly postpone our interview tonight due to some security issues that have arisen. Hope she’s OK," he said.

Morgan did not mention when would the interview be rescheduled.

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg was investigating hush money payments Trump allegedly made before the 2016 campaign, including a $130,000 payment to Daniels.

62d ago / 8:52 PM UTC

'Dozens and dozens' of Secret Service agents involved in security for Trump's N.Y. trip


Two Secret Service officials said that “dozens and dozens” of agents would be involved with both Trump's trip to New York on Monday and his expected arraignment the following day.

After his arrival in New York, Trump will travel to Manhattan by helicopter and stay at his Fifth Avenue Trump Tower apartment, which is already protected by the Secret Service and the NYPD, with enhanced measures for Trump's upcoming trip.

The officials added that authorities will secure the Manhattan courthouse as needed with magnetometer screening to ensure the safety of those areas, including media staging.

62d ago / 8:06 PM UTC

Sen. Murkowski says 'no one is above the law'

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, joined a small group of congressional Republicans choosing not to criticize Bragg for indicting Trump.

"No one is above the law in this country, but everyone deserves a fair legal process," the moderate Republican said in a statement. "The indictment of a former President is unprecedented and must be handled with the utmost integrity and scrutiny."

Murkowski was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 riot in his second impeachment trial. Trump endorsed Murkowski's main Republican challenger in 2022, but the senator won re-election.

62d ago / 7:55 PM UTC

Trump plans to fly to N.Y. on Monday night, surrender the next day

Trump is planning to fly to LaGuardia Airport on Monday night and stay at Trump Tower in New York, according to two senior officials familiar with the matter who cautioned that the plans are subject to change.

The officials said that Trump was expected to surrender Tuesday morning and make a court appearance at 2:15 p.m., before returning to LaGuardia to fly back to Florida.

62d ago / 7:32 PM UTC

Former AG Barr blasts indictment as 'a pathetically weak case'

Former Attorney General William Barr discussed the indictment Friday at the National Review Institute Ideas Summit, suggesting that the unfolding saga was a "political hit job."

"It’s the archetypal abuse of the prosecutorial function to engage in a political hit job, and it’s a disgrace," Barr said. "If it turns out to be what we think it is politically, it’s going to be damaging to the Republican Party simply because I think it’s a no-lose situation for the Democrats."

Barr, who was attorney general under Trump and the first President Bush, also joined a series of Trump allies and Republicans who have insisted the case won't stand up.

“From what I understand, it’s a pathetically weak case,” he said.

62d ago / 7:29 PM UTC
62d ago / 7:08 PM UTC

Capitol Police: No specific credible threats, but potential for protests

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In an email to all Senate offices, the U.S. Capitol Police and the Senate sergeant-at-arms said that "law enforcement is not tracking any specific, credible threats against the Capitol or state offices," but "there is potential for demonstration activity" in the wake of Trump's indictment.

Members of Congress are not in session and won't return to Washington until April 17, following a scheduled recess.

"USCP is working with law enforcement partners, so you may observe a greater law enforcement presence on Capitol Hill," the email said, adding that Capitol Police are monitoring any effect protests could have on senators' state offices as well.

Capitol Police declined to comment on the email or any potential security changes in the days ahead.

62d ago / 6:45 PM UTC

Possible 2024 candidate Hutchinson: Trump should 'step aside'

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican who is mulling a 2024 presidential campaign, called on Trump to “step aside” from the race because his indictment has become a “huge distraction.”

The remarks are the strongest against Trump yet of any person running or publicly considering a bid for the Republican nomination in 2024.

In an interview Friday with Fox Business, Hutchinson, a former federal prosecutor, noted that the case against Trump was not one he would have pursued, but nevertheless said that "when a public official is indicted," the "office is more important than the person and they should step aside."

"That standard should apply here. It is a distraction. It is not a good day for America, but the system has to play out here and we have to have confidence that it can," he added.

Asked directly if he felt Trump should “step aside” from the race, Hutchinson replied: “I do. But he’s not going to.”

"To me, the office of the presidency is more important than any one person," he continued.

Hutchinson said that if the indictment progressed to Trump being on trial, “it’s not good for our country” and would be a “huge distraction.”

Hutchinson, who has said he will decide on a presidential run in April, said his ultimate decision will not be affected by the indictment.

His latest remarks represent an escalation in critical tone against Trump from comments just a day earlier, when he said that Trump “should not be the next president” but that that “should be decided by the voters.”

62d ago / 6:30 PM UTC

Who are the key players in the Trump hush money case and indictment?


Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against former President Donald Trump centers around payments made in 2016 ahead of the presidential election.Most of the key figures have been involved in grand jury testimony, including attorney Robert Costello, former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal, adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen.

Read more on the key people to know:

Key players in the Trump hush money case and indictment.
Key players in the Trump hush money case and indictment.
62d ago / 5:55 PM UTC

Trump supporters gather outside Mar-a-Lago


About one dozen Trump supporters have gathered on the bridge that overlooks Mar-a-Lago.

The supporters are waving Trump-related flags, yelling about their support for the former president, and encouraging cars passing by to honk in support. 

“The Bridge People Stand With Trump,” one sign reads. Small crowds of Trump supporters have regularly gathered outside the former president's Florida residence.

62d ago / 5:51 PM UTC

Sen. Cornyn says Trump indictment is Bragg trying to 'gain publicity'


Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, criticized the indictment.

"It looks to me like this is an opportunity for this DA to try to make headlines and gain publicity," he said.

62d ago / 5:46 PM UTC

Disinfo tracker says no current credible threats of violence or Jan. 6-type gatherings

A well-known disinformation-tracking group says it has, as of now, not found any specific or credible threats of violence or plans for large protests stemming from the Trump indictment.

"What we have observed is that Trump supporters are reluctant to engage in crimes that could land them in jail like the January 6 insurrectionists," the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a London-based organization that tracks disinformation, said.

The group is monitoring indictment reactions online.

"We’ve also not seen the level of engagement in the lead up to January 6," the group said, adding that it would continue to monitor the situation closely.

62d ago / 5:12 PM UTC

What polling says about a Trump indictment


Recent polls conducted shortly before the news that a New York grand jury voted to indict former President Donald Trump show deep political divisions about the investigations he is facing.

Majorities, or near majorities, of Americans polled recently by both Quinnipiac University and NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist broadly support investigations into Trump or are skeptical of the former president’s conduct.

But in each case, there’s a massive split between Republicans and Democrats, with independents caught in the middle (albeit more likely to side with Democrats). And even though the actual charges are still sealed, large numbers of people have already made up their minds about them — meaning much of the reaction to the actual indictment might already be baked in.

These polls were conducted after Trump’s recent declaration that he would be indicted, but before the news of the grand jury vote. Here’s a look at some of the key questions examined in recent days.

Read the full story here.

62d ago / 4:48 PM UTC

Ivanka Trump reacts to the indictment of her father

Trump's elder daughter, Ivanka, reacted to the indictment of her father on Instagram on Friday.

"I love my father, and I love my country. Today, I am pained for both," she wrote in a message posted as an Instagram story.

"I appreciate the voices across the political spectrum expressing support and concern," she said.

62d ago / 4:28 PM UTC

GOP Senate leaders haven't weighed in on Trump yet

Notably, the top two Senate Republicans — Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D. — have not yet issued any public statements about the Trump indictment.

The two closely allied GOP senators have frequently been on the receiving end of criticism from Trump and his allies.

McConnell, for his part, was recently released from a physical rehabilitation facility, where he had been for more than a week following a March 8 fall.

NBC News has reached out to both Republicans for comment.

62d ago / 4:22 PM UTC
62d ago / 4:21 PM UTC

Sen. Graham jokes that Trump would be released if he engaged in violent crime

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., seemed to joke Friday that if Trump engaged in violent criminal acts on his way to his expected arraignment Tuesday, he would be released.

Graham appeared to be mocking District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whom Republicans have accused of being soft on crime.

62d ago / 4:18 PM UTC

GOP Rep. Barry Moore mocks grand jury with ham sandwiches

Republican Rep. Barry Moore of Alabama tweeted a photo of bagged ham sandwiches with the phrase "Indict this!" written on them, a reference to Tom Wolfe's "The Bonfire of the Vanities."

In the book, Wolfe quotes then-New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sol Wachtler arguing that district attorneys could get grand juries to do anything, even "indict a ham sandwich" if that's what the DA wanted.

Moore appears to be handing the sandwiches out in the House, though Congress is not in session today.

Asked about the sandwiches, Moore told NBC News, "Well, you know, having been indicted myself, and then learning that there can be political persecution, the old saying was, 'You can indict a ham sandwich.'"

Moore was charged with four felony counts of lying to a grand jury and was found not guilty on all of them in 2014, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

62d ago / 4:02 PM UTC

Trump enlisting Hill allies to defend him publicly


Trump has been reaching out to Republican allies on Capitol Hill to consult with them about the next steps in their public defense of his indictment.

The former president has been checking in and engaged with those he is hoping will actively support his defense, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.

Gaetz said on Fox News that he spoke with Trump and described him as "resolute and focused." Meanwhile, Graham pleaded with Fox viewers to donate to Trump’s campaign to help with his legal defense. 

Trump has actively cheered on the efforts by the House Oversight, Judiciary and Administration committees to ask questions about Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation. 

A spokesperson for Rep. James Comer, the chair of Oversight, said the congressman hasn't spoken to Trump since 2020 and has vowed not to engage with Trump until his investigation into President Joe Biden is complete. 

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment.

62d ago / 3:32 PM UTC

Pence dings Trump over 2022 election losses

Pence appeared to take a thinly veiled swipe at Trump when responding to questions at the National Review Institute Ideas Summit about why the GOP didn’t carry out the “red wave” that many pundits predicted during the 2022 midterm elections.

“Candidates that were focused on the past, particularly candidates that were focused on re-litigating the last election, did not fare as well, including in places that we should have won and won handily,” Pence, who is mulling a 2024 presidential campaign, said.

The remarks were a reference to unsuccessful, Trump-aligned candidates who joined the former president in denying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“Our candidates in 2022 that were focused on the challenges we heard people are facing today, and who focused on the future, did very well,” he said.

62d ago / 3:21 PM UTC

Pence predicts indictment will divide U.S. and embolden dictators

Building on his comments Thursday slamming Trump's indictment as a “an outrage” and a “political prosecution,” former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday predicted that the move by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg would further divide Americans and embolden dictators abroad.

“The worst part of what happened yesterday is that, at a time when we’re facing large, intractable challenges at home and abroad, this will likely only serve to further divide our country,” Pence said during remarks at the National Review Institute Ideas Summit.

He added that “the indictment of a former president of the United States on a campaign finance issue” would send “a terrible message to the wider world about American justice.”

“There are dictators and authoritarians around the world that will point to that to justify their own abuse of their own so-called justice system,” Pence said. “I’m very troubled by it.”

62d ago / 3:13 PM UTC

Marjorie Taylor Greene calls for protests in New York after Trump indictment

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., one of Trump’s closest allies on Capitol Hill, said Friday she will travel to New York next week to protest the former president’s indictment and urged other supporters to join her.

“I’m going to New York on Tuesday. We MUST protest the unconstitutional WITCH HUNT!” Greene tweeted to her 663,000 followers.

The Tuesday protests would come on the same day Trump’s attorneys have said he is expected to be arraigned in court.

Greene’s call for protests is a reversal for the conservative firebrand and Trump loyalist, who less than two weeks ago pushed back on Trump’s own call for his backers to “Protest, take our nation back!”

Read the full story here.

63d ago / 3:02 PM UTC

GOP Senate prospects in 2024 battlegrounds rush to Trump’s defense

The indictment of former President Donald Trump was only hours old and details of the charges were not fully known. Nevertheless, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice unfurled his unwavering defense.

“I am so sorrowed,” Justice wrote beneath a letterhead bearing his name and an image of the sun peeking out from behind his state’s iconic mountains, “at the witch hunt on President Trump and his entire family. I am so sorrowed at the lack of respect toward us — OUR America.”

A conservative Democrat-turned-Republican whom the former president affectionately calls “Big Jim,” Justice closed with a shout-out to Trump’s sons, his “huntin’ buddies Don Jr. and Eric,” and a parting word of encouragement for their father: “Pour it on CHAMP!”

By morning, Justice’s reverential sorrow and outrage would be blasted out alongside other statements of support curated by Trump’s super PAC — a show of strength by allies of the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges.

Read the full story here.

63d ago / 3:02 PM UTC

Does an indictment help or hurt Trump politically?

63d ago / 3:02 PM UTC

Trump faces about 30 counts in New York grand jury indictment

Donald Trump is facing about 30 document fraud-related charges in New York City after a grand jury voted Thursday to indict the former president, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

The exact charges are unknown because the indictment remains under seal until Trump is expected to appear in court for his arraignment Tuesday. The large number of charges likely stems from prosecutors making separate charges for each payment in question.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg could choose to unseal the indictment sooner, but as of Friday morning, it appeared the DA will follow normal procedure and wait until Trump appears in court.