Former US President Donald Trump will face charges in connection with hush money payments made to a porn star shortly before the 2016 presidential election.
The specifics of the case against him have not yet been made public.
After investigating a $130,000 payout to Stormy Daniels in an attempt to buy her silence about an alleged affair, a grand jury voted to indict him.
Mr. Trump, 76, has denied any wrongdoing. He is the first sitting or former president of the United States to face criminal charges.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which has been leading the investigation, confirmed that it had contacted Mr Trump’s attorney to “coordinate his surrender” on unspecified charges.
The former president lives in Florida and is scheduled to travel to New York City for his formal arrest and first court appearance.
Mr Trump is expected to fly to New York on Monday and be arraigned in court on Tuesday, according to CBS News, the BBC’s US partner.
At the hearing, which is expected to last about 10-15 minutes, the charges in the indictment will be read to him.
The US Secret Service, which is in charge of protecting current and former US presidents, will be in charge of security for the court appearance.
Mr Trump, like all defendants in criminal cases, will have his fingerprints taken and a mugshot taken.
Mr Trump slammed the Manhattan district attorney in a statement. He referred to the prosecutor as a “disgrace,” accusing him of “doing Joe Biden’s dirty work.”
“In their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump,’ the Democrats have lied, cheated, and stolen, but now they’ve done the unthinkable – indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant Election Interference,” he said.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly referred to the investigation in his hometown of New York as a political “witch hunt” orchestrated by his opponents. Mr. Bragg is a Democratic Party member.
The district attorney has denied pursuing a political vendetta against Mr Trump, tweeting earlier this month, “We evaluate cases in our jurisdiction based on facts, law, and evidence.”
Susan Necheles, Mr Trump’s lawyer, said in a statement, “He did not commit any crime.” We will vigorously defend ourselves in court against this political prosecution.”
The investigation stems from allegations that Mr Trump directed his then-lawyer Michael Cohen to pay Stormy Daniels, a former porn actress and stripper, to prevent her from speaking out about an alleged affair with Mr Trump less than two weeks before the 2016 presidential election.
Ms Daniels claims she had a sexual encounter with Mr Trump in 2006, the year after he married his current wife, Melania, at a Lake Tahoe hotel.
Cohen testified in court that the $130,000 settlement was reached “in coordination with and at the direction of” the former president. Cohen was imprisoned on multiple charges from 2018 to 20.
Mr. Trump is currently the front-runner among all declared and potential Republican presidential candidates.
However, nothing in US law prevents a candidate convicted of a crime from campaigning for and serving as president – even from prison.
On Thursday evening, his campaign used the indictment to send out fundraising emails.
Top Republican lawmakers are rallying behind Mr. Trump.
“Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said.
“By routinely releasing violent criminals to terrorize the public, he has weaponized our sacred judicial system against President Donald Trump.”
Democrats, on the other hand, welcomed the indictment, arguing that it demonstrated that no one was above the law.
“The indictment and arrest of a former president is unprecedented in American history,” said Congressman Adam Schiff.
“However, so is the illegal conduct for which Trump has been charged.”
Mr. Trump is also being investigated in a number of other matters.
They include investigations into his role in the January 2021 US Capitol riot, his efforts to overturn his loss in Georgia in the 2020 election, and his handling of classified documents after leaving office.
Mr Trump, who was president from 2017 to 21, was impeached twice by the House of Representatives. The Senate acquitted him both times.
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