Donald Trump Indicted: First Ex-President Charged with a Crime
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A lawyer for Donald Trump said Thursday he's been told that the former president has been indicted in New York on charges involving hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign.
It would become the first-ever criminal case against a former U.S. president and a jolt to Trump's bid to retake the White House in 2024.
Joe Tacopina, a lawyer for Trump, told The Associated Press he had been told that a grand jury that had been meeting for months voted to indict Trump. The specific charges were not immediately made public.
Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing and has attacked the investigation, was expected to surrender to authorities next week, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss a matter that remained under seal.
The grand jury indictment of Trump, 76, is an extraordinary development after years of investigations into his business, political and personal dealings. It is likely to galvanize critics who say Trump lied and cheated his way to the top and embolden supporters who feel the Republican is being unfairly targeted by a Democratic prosecutor.
In a statement, Trump called the indictment, "Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history."
"From the time I came down the golden escalator at Trump Tower, and even before I was sworn in as your President of the United States, the Radical Left Democrats - the enemy of the hard-working men and women of this Country - have been engaged in a Witch-Hunt to destroy the Make America Great Again 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," the 45th President 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 continued.
“Never before in our Nation’s history has this been done. The Democrats have cheated countless times over the decades, including spying on my campaign, but 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," he said.
"Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who was hand-picked and funded by George Soros, is a disgrace. Rather than stopping the unprecedented crime wave taking over New York City, he’s doing Joe Biden’s dirty work, ignoring the murders and burglaries, and assaults he should be focused on. This is how Bragg spends his time!," the former president said.
“I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden. The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it. 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!," Trump concluded.
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