Former President Donald Trump has been indicted in New York on charges of falsifying business records over a period of 11 months in 2017. Those records, prosecutors claim, were altered to obscure hush money payments made to porn actress Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign.
It’s the first time in US history that a former president has been charged with crimes. And the indictment could be the first of several given that Trump is facing other civil and criminal investigations. Those include probes into his business dealings, interference in the 2020 election in Georgia, withholding of classified documents after he left office, and his role in inciting the January 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.
Speculation has been brewing for weeks as to whether Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg would move forward with seeking a grand jury indictment against Trump in the hush money case, which legal experts previously identified as the hardest to prove among the potential criminal cases he’s facing.
Now that it’s official, there’s the question of what the indictment might mean for Trump’s 2024 campaign. At least one presidential candidate has run a campaign from behind bars before, and Republican strategists and pollsters told Vox that the indictment could actually help Trump clear the GOP primary field if it rallies the base behind him. But it’s hard to see how it could win Trump votes in a general election, even if he believes he could spin an arrest to his advantage — so much so that he wanted to be seen in handcuffs.
A statement of facts detailing the evidence and charges against Trump was also released:
Update, April 4, 4:15 pm: This story has been updated to include information about the payments and the statement of facts that was released.