Former US President Donald Trump is set to face a criminal charge after a grand jury voted to indict him over hush money payments made to adult film actress, Stormy Daniels, just before the 2016 presidential election. The charge against Mr. Trump, 76, is related to a $130,000 pay-out to Daniels in an attempt to buy her silence over an alleged affair, which Mr. Trump denies.
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who has been pursuing the investigation, has confirmed that it had contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to “co-ordinate his surrender” on unspecified charges. Mr. Trump is expected to fly to New York on Monday and be arraigned in court on Tuesday.
According to two sources familiar with the matter, the charges in the indictment will be read to him at the hearing, which is set to last about 10-15 minutes. The United States Secret Service, which is tasked with protecting serving and former US presidents, will be in charge of security for the court appearance.
In 2016, Stormy Daniels contacted media outlets offering to sell her account of what she said was an adulterous affair she had with Donald Trump in 2006 – the year after he married his current wife, Melania. Mr. Trump’s team got wind of this, and his lawyer Michael Cohen paid $130,000 to Ms. Daniels to keep quiet, which is not illegal.
However, prosecutors allege that when Mr. Trump reimbursed his lawyer, the record for the payment says it was for legal fees, which they say amounts to Mr. Trump falsifying business records, a criminal offense in New York. If convicted, Mr. Trump will be the first serving or former US president to face a criminal charge.