Donald Trump Indicted for Hush Money by NY Grand Jury
Cover Images/Ron Sachs/CNP

The former reality TV star became the first ever former American president to face criminal charges when a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict the 76 year old.

AceShowbiz - Donald Trump has raged his historic indictment over an alleged hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels is an "unthinkable" witch hunt. The former reality TV star became the first ever former American president to face criminal charges on Thursday, March 30, when a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict the 76 year old.

Trump blamed his rival Democrats in a statement sent after the news made global headlines. "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. Never before in our nation's history has this been done," he ranted.

Trump is expected to travel to Manhattan next week to be formally arrested, a source familiar with the plans told The insider added the head of his security detail had recently travelled to New York to liaise with prosecutors.

Trump's lawyers Susan Necheles and Joseph Tacopina said, "President Trump has been indicted. He did not commit any crime. We will vigorously fight this political prosecution in court."

Dad-of-five Trump's son Eric told before his father's statement was released, "This is the opportunistic targeting of a political opponent in a campaign year. They are ruthlessly attacking my father because he dared challenge the political elite. This is Exhibit A to the decline of American Law."

The indictment is a major victory for the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, 49. It is the culmination of a years-long probe into hush money paid to adult movie star Stormy Daniels, 44, in 2016, allegedly to buy her silence about her apparent affair with Trump.

Stormy, born Stephanie Gregory Clifford, claims she had a fling with Trump in 2006. He denies they had an affair and has called it a "witch hunt," but has admitted directing his then lawyer Michael Cohen, 56, to pay Daniels $130,000 for her silence.

The adult star claimed Cohen used "intimidation and coercive tactics" to get her to sign on to the statement denying her affair with Trump. Cohen told a federal court in Manhattan Trump directed him to make the payments, and was eventually sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to campaign finance charges stemming from his part in the payments.

Trump also faces a series of other legal woes, including over the January 6 attack on Congress, his keeping of classified records, business dealings and a defamation suit arising from an allegation of rape by the writer E Jean Carroll, 79, which Trump has denied. He is yet to be arrested, but when seized he the former commander-in-chief will, like any alleged criminal, be fingerprinted, have his mugshot taken and read his rights.

But the New York Times said he will be protected by secret service officers who are required by law to stand by him at all times. The explosive indictment of Trump will rock the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, in which he leads the majority of polls.

It also emerged on Thursday New York prosecutors were looking to charge Trump over a $150,000 payment made to a former Playboy model. Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen, 56, has been revealed to have arranged for the cash to be paid to Karen McDougal, 52, a Playboy model who claimed to have an affair with Trump. The payment was made by 71-year-old David Pecker, former publisher of the National Enquirer, which squashed the story.

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