Trump indicted live updates: Ex-president expected to appear before judge Tuesday

New York grand jury indicts Trump in hush money payment case
New York grand jury indicts Trump in hush money payment case

A New York grand jury voted to indict former President Donald Trump in connection with a hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

Trump is the first former U.S. president to be charged with a crime. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office said it contacted Trump's attorney to "coordinate his surrender" on an indictment that "remains under seal." The former president is expected to turn himself in early next week, his attorney Joe Tacopina told NBC News. His arraignment is expected Tuesday. That could change, however.

The historic indictment will have broad implications, both on the 2024 campaign trail and on Capitol Hill. Trump is the top contender for the Republican presidential nomination.

In the days leading up to the indictment, Trump and his allies aimed vitriol at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office. Last week, Bragg received an envelope containing a death threat and a white powder, which authorities later decided was not threatening.

The former president has warned of "death and destruction" if he were to be charged with a crime.

Trump complains he can't get a fair trial in his home city

Business mogul Donald Trump rides an escalator to a press event to announce his candidacy for the U.S. presidency at Trump Tower on June 16, 2015 in New York City.
Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump, who built his real estate empire and scandal-rag-friendly persona in New York, said Thursday night his native city wouldn't be too kind to him in court.

"They only brought this Fake, Corrupt, and Disgraceful Charge against me because I stand with the American People, and they know that I cannot get a fair trial in New York!" Trump, who was born in Queens, complained in a post on his social media app, Truth Social.

Indeed, Trump isn't very popular in his home city, which overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020. Staten Island was the only borough that went for Trump – both times.

– Mike Calia

Pence calls Trump indictment an 'outrage'

Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks, in part addressing his opposition to a grand jury subpoena for testimony about efforts to overturn then-President Donald Trump's 2020 reelection loss, to the Coolidge Presidential Foundation conference at the Library of Congress in Washington, U.S. February 16, 2023. 
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Former Vice President Mike Pence said in a CNN interview Thursday night that the "unprecedented indictment of a former president of the United States on a campaign finance issue is an outrage."

"And it appears to millions of Americans to be nothing more than a political prosecution that's driven by a prosecutor who literally ran for office on the pledge to indict the former president," he added.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer interrupted to add that a grand jury made the decision to indict Trump.

"Well I understand that and it's been a long time since I was in law school, Wolf, but I remember the old saying, 'You can indict a ham sandwich,' right?" Pence continued. "The threshold, the burden of proof, is very low."

He added: "But look, this I think, I think the American people are gonna look at it this see it as one more example of the criminalization of politics in this country. And it's one more example it's kind of drama that captures Washington, D.C."

Pence said the indictment has no bearing on his decision as to whether he will challenge his former boss for the GOP nomination in 2024. "While it did not end well, I'll always be proud of the record of the Trump-Pence administration. We're going to reflect on all of that and decide where we might next contribute," he said.

-- Jordan Novet and Todd Haselton

Trump will appear before NY Supreme Court judge Tuesday afternoon

Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives during a rally at the Waco Regional Airport on March 25, 2023 in Waco, Texas.
Brandon Bell | Getty Images

Former President Trump will be arraigned before New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan next Tuesday, after 2:15 p.m. ET, two officials familiar with the matter told NBC News. The plan is tentative.

Merchan also presided over the Trump Organization's payroll fraud trial, which resulted in a guilty verdict. Merchan is an acting justice on New York state's highest bench, and has served as a judge for over a decade.

–Rohan Goswami

Trump can still run for president in 2024, despite indictment

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally with supporters, in Davenport, Iowa, U.S. March 13, 2023. 
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Donald Trump can still run for president in 2024 despite the indictment.

There are three qualifications for the presidency according to the Constitution: A candidate has to be at least 35 years old, has to have lived in the U.S. for a minimum of 14 years and has to be a natural-born citizen.

"There are actually not that many constitutional requirements to run for president," New York Law School professor Anna Cominsky told The Washington Post. "There is not an explicit prohibition in the Constitution in respects to having a pending indictment or even being convicted."

Trump is the top contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

-- Todd Haselton

Trump's niece says indictment is 'finally' justice

Combination of Former U.S. President Donald Trump (L), and his niece Mary Trump (R).
Getty Images (L) | MSNBC (R)

Mary Trump, the former president's estranged niece, wrote that for "the victims of Donald, this is finally some measure of justice."

"Let's take a minute to celebrate," she wrote. "We've all earned it."

- Rohan Goswami

Democrats vow to hold Trump and Republican candidates accountable on abortion, other issues

Democrats will keep challenging former President Donald Trump on abortion restrictions and other issues, Ammar Moussa, national press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement following Trump's indictment on Thursday.

"No matter what happens in Trump's upcoming legal proceedings, it's obvious the Republican Party remains firmly in the hold of Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans," Moussa said. "We will continue to hold Trump and all Republican candidates accountable for the extreme MAGA agenda that includes banning abortion, cutting Social Security and Medicare, and undermining free and fair elections."

— Jordan Novet

Exonerated Central Park 5 member issues one word statement on Trump indictment

Decades ago, Trump targeted Yusef Salaam and four others with a full-page ad calling for their execution.

Salaam was a part of the so-called Central Park 5, and is now a candidate for New York City Council.

All five were wrongly convicted in a 1989 assault and rape. All five, decades later, would have their convictions vacated and their names cleared.

Trump has never apologized for calling for their death. Salaam issued a one word statement on the news of Trump's indictment: "Karma."

- Rohan Goswami

Pelosi hopes Trump will 'peacefully' respect judicial process

The 'Pelosi Clap': U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, right, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, left, applaud U.S. President Donald Trump during a State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.
Doug Mills | Pool | Bloomberg | Getty Images

California Democrat and Speaker Emeritus Nancy Pelosi said on Twitter that "everyone has the right to a trial to prove innocence."

"Hopefully, the former President will peacefully respect the system, which grants him that right," Pelosi posted. Trump called for protests when news of his imminent indictment first broke last week. -- Rohan Goswami

Schumer urges peaceful reaction from Trump critics and supporters

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on March 30, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong | Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who represents New York, on Thursday night was the first leading Democratic lawmaker to weigh in on former President Donald Trump's indictment.

Read Schumer's statement:

"Mr. Trump is subject to the same laws as every American. He will be able to avail himself of the legal system and a jury, not politics, to determine his fate according to the facts and the law. There should be no outside political influence, intimidation or interference in the case. I encourage both Mr. Trump's critics and supporters to let the process proceed peacefully and according to the law."

–Mike Calia

Every NYPD officer must be uniformed, prepared for 'mobilization' effective Friday

Police, media and a small group of protesters gather outside of a Manhattan courthouse after news broke that former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a grand jury on March 30, 2023 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images

All officers across all New York City commands will perform their duties in the uniform of the day, effective Friday 7:00am, a memo obtained by WNBC shows.

Every NYPD officer, in every rank, will prepare for deployment, the memo says, and will "remain prepared for mobilization at any time."

–Rohan Goswami

Secret Service will work with New York officials, Trump lawyers on transporting the former president

A Secret Service agent guards the Mar-a-Lago home of former President Donald Trump on March 21, 2023 in Palm Beach, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images

The U.S. Secret Service and New York officials have been discussing logistical and security requirements for getting Trump to comply with the indictment, and the talks will continue on Friday, NBC News reported.

Rather than getting involved in Trump's arrest or surrender, the Secret Service sees itself as focusing on his transportation and personal protection, according to NBC News, which noted that the federal law-enforcement agency will coordinate with New York officials and Trump's legal team.

— Jordan Novet

Trump Media merger partner stock jumps

Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp., the blank check company that has agreed to merge with Trump's social media firm, surged during after hours trading following news that the former president was indicted.

DWAC has encountered its own legal difficulties. Federal prosecutors and regulators are investigating the deal with Trump Media and Technology Group, the parent company of Truth Social. Last week, the company fired its CEO, Patrick Orlando, who has been at the center of the intrigue. He remains on the company's board, however, since he and another one of his firms are major shareholders.

The company has warned that any potential legal issues or declines in Trump's popularity could result in the termination of the merger, which has already been delayed by several months.

– Mike Calia

DeSantis says Florida won't cooperate with 'extradition request' for Trump

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis answers questions from the media in the Florida Cabinet following his "State of the State" address during a joint session of the Florida Senate and House of Representatives at the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida, on March 7, 2023.
Cheney Orr | AFP | Getty Images

Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida and likely 2024 GOP candidate for president, said he will not assist on a "extradition request" for his rival Donald Trump hours after the former president was indicted by a New York grand jury.

The comments came minutes after NBC News reported that Trump will surrender to the Manhattan DA's office early next week, citing Trump's attorney Joe Tacopina.

"The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head. It is un-American," DeSantis wrote in the Twitter post.

He accused Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg of "stretching the law to target a political opponent." DeSantis said "Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue" in the case.

Trump led DeSantis 52% to 42% in a recent Quinnipiac University survey gauging preferences in the GOP primary. Trump, who lodged attacks on DeSantis, lives at Mar-a-Lago on Florida's southeast coast.

— Jordan Novet

Presidential hopeful calls indictment 'un-American'

Vivek Ramaswamy, a long-shot Republican presidential hopeful, called Trump's indictment "un-American."

"The politically motivated indictment of the 45th President of the United States marks a dark moment in American history," Ramaswamy said in a statement. "It is un-American for the ruling party to use police power to arrest its political rivals."

"I pray for our national unity," the investor and former biopharmaceutical executive said.

— Rohan Goswami

Here's what happens next after Trump's indictment

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during his first campaign rally after announcing his candidacy for president in the 2024 election at an event in Waco, Texas, U.S., March 25, 2023. 
Go Nakamura | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump will be read his Miranda rights, fingerprinted and pose for a mug shot once he surrenders to the Manhattan District Attorney's office following his indictment by a New York grand jury.

Trump's attorney is already in touch with prosecutors and expects him to be arraigned next week, according to NBC News.

After Trump's arraignment and appearance before a judge, there will be pre-trial hearings where the defense could move to dismiss the charges that have yet to be unsealed against the former president. Trump would then file a plea, which could eventually lead to a trial.

— Brian Schwartz

Trump, allies attack George Soros with false accusations of direct ties to Alvin Bragg after indictment

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg walks outside the District Attorney's offices as Bragg's office investigates $130,000 paid in the final weeks of former U.S. President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign to Stormy Daniels, a porn star who said she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006 when he was married to his current wife Melania, in New York City, U.S. March 27, 2023.  
Amanda Perobelli | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump and his allies are turning their attacks yet again on billionaire Democratic megadonor George Soros and falsely claiming he has direct ties to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, after Trump was indicted by a New York grand jury.

"Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who was hand-picked and funded by George Soros, is a disgrace," Trump said on Thursday in response to the indictment.

Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., said on his podcast "Apparently, Soros-backed Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is indicting my father."

CNBC's previous reporting found there are no real direct ties between Soros and Bragg. Many Democrats and outside experts have called the attacks on Soros, who is Jewish, dangerous and anti-semitic.

An advisor for Soros, who is a longtime target for Republicans, told CNBC that Soros "has never met or spoken to Alvin Bragg."

The criticism appears to stem from donations Soros and a nonprofit funded by him made to the national racial justice group Color of Change, which backed Bragg's DA campaign and later pressured him on a prosecution unrelated to Trump.

Yet, there are even problems making a direct connection between that Soros donation and Bragg.

Those familiar with the contributions said that the money the billionaire and his organization gave to Color of Change was not earmarked to back Bragg's campaign, or intended to be used in an effort to pressure the DA.

— Brian Schwartz

Press converge outside courthouse following Trump indictment

Reporters could be seen gathering outside the Manhattan courthouse where a grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump. CNBC producer Harriet Taylor tweeted out this video.

Riya Bhattacharjee

Trump calls indictment 'an attack on our country'

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during his first campaign rally after announcing his candidacy for president in the 2024 election at an event in Waco, Texas, U.S., March 25, 2023. 
Leah Millis | Reuters

Former President Trump called the indictment of him an attack on the U.S. — among other exaggerated or false claims he has made about the implications of a charge against him in recent days.

"These Thugs and Radical Left Monsters have just INDICATED [sic] the 45th President of the United States of America, and the leading Republican Candidate, by far, for the 2024 Nomination for President," Trump wrote in a post on Trump Media and Technology Group's Truth Social platform. In an all-caps update, he called the charge "an attack on our country the likes of which has never been seen before."

An hour and a half later, Trump posted again on Truth Social, saying that he "cannot get a fair trial in New York."

Trump must wait six hours after a Truth Social message before circulating them on other social networks, according to an agreement set to expire in June.

On his Truth Social account on Wednesday, Trump had expressed praise for the grand jury assessing the case. The all-caps post said he had "gained such respect for this grand jury & perhaps even the grand jury system as a whole."

— Jordan Novet

Manhattan DA's office contacted Trump's attorney to coordinate surrender, arraignment

The Manhattan district attorney's office got in touch with Trump's attorney to arrange his surrender and arraignment on an indictment that "remains under seal," a spokesperson for the office said.

"Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected," the spokesperson added.

Trump's attorney Joe Tacopina told NBC News that the former president is expected to surrender early next week.

— Jacob Pramuk

Michael Cohen's attorney says the former Trump fixer spoke 'truth to power'

Michael Cohen, former attorney for former U.S. President Donald Trump, with his lawyer Lanny Davis, arrives to the New York Courthouse in New York City, U.S., March 13, 2023.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

Michael Cohen, Trump's onetime fixer and disbarred attorney, decided to speak "truth to power and accept the consequences," his attorney Lanny Davis said in a statement.

"I am proud to have been his lawyer and his friend through this long journey," Davis said of Cohen.

Cohen was the conduit for Trump's $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, part of an effort to cover up the former president's alleged extramarital affair with Daniels.

— Rohan Goswami

Rev. Al Sharpton excoriates Trump: 'What goes around comes around'

Rev. Al Sharpton torched Trump for apparent hypocrisy, contrasting the former president's vehement condemnation of the Central Park 5 with Trump's response to his own legal battles.

"It's not lost on those of us who were there in 1989 that Donald Trump will likely walk into the same courthouse where the Exonerated 5 were falsely convicted for a crime they did not commit," Sharpton said in a statement. "Let's not forget that it was Donald Trump who took out full-page ads calling for these five Black and Brown young men to get the death penalty."

"This is the same man who's now calling for violence when he has to go through the same system," the reverend continued. "All I can say is, what goes around comes around."

The five teenagers were wrongly accused and convicted of rape, and exonerated years later.

— Rohan Goswami

McCarthy says House GOP will hold Manhattan DA accountable, calls indictment 'abuse of power'

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) faces reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 31, 2023. 
Leah Millis | Reuters

Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy slammed the Manhattan district attorney, saying on Twitter that Bragg had "irreparably damaged" the U.S., and that "the American people will not tolerate this injustice."

McCarthy said that "the House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account."

Even before a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Trump, House Republicans had started to flex their committee power to seek information from Bragg about the probe.

— Rohan Goswami

Trump will surrender early next week, attorney tells NBC

Trump will surrender to the Manhattan DA's office early next week, his attorney Joe Tacopina told NBC News.

The unprecedented indictment of a former president means that after he surrenders, Trump will be read his Miranda rights, fingerprinted, and photographed — like any other defendant.

— Rohan Goswami

Trump will be re-elected in 2024, PAC official says

Former US President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Waco, Texas, US, on Saturday, March 25, 2023. 
Brandon Bell | Getty Images

Taylor Budowich, CEO of the political-action committee Make America Great Again Inc., used the indictment as an opportunity to look ahead to the 2024 presidential election.

"This is not an indictment of a crime—there was no crime—instead, this news is the indictment of a failed nation," Budowich said in a statement. "President Trump is promising to peacefully end the war in Ukraine, dismantle the deep state, and save our country by putting America first. For that, the political elites and powerbrokers have weaponized government to try and stop him. They will fail. He will be re-elected in the greatest landslide in American history, and together we will all Make America Great Again."

— Jordan Novet

Trump faces other criminal probes

American Prosecutor Jack Smith presides during the presentation of the Kosovar former president Hashim Thaci for the first time before a war crimes court in The Hague on November 9, 2020, to face charges relating to the 1990s conflict with Serbia.
Jerry Lampen | AFP | Getty Images

Donald Trump could face potentially even more serious criminal charges beyond the Manhattan district attorney's case against him.

His alleged attempts to meddle in election results in Georgia are the subject of a criminal probe in that state.

Meanwhile, a federal special counsel, Jack Smith, is investigating Trump over his removal of classified documents from the White House as well as his ties to the bloody Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Fueled by Trump's false claims of election fraud, hundreds of his supporters stormed the building that day in a bid to prevent lawmakers from confirming Joe Biden's victory.

–Mike Calia

Stormy Daniels' attorney says indictment is 'no cause for joy'

Stormy Daniels' attorney, Clark Brewster, said the indictment of Trump was "no cause for joy." Daniels, a former adult film actress, sits close to the heart of the Manhattan district attorney's hush money case.

"The hard work and conscientiousness of the grand jurors must be respected," Brewster wrote on Twitter. "Now let truth and justice prevail."

Daniels was the alleged recipient of over $100,000, channeled through longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen, as part of a non-disclosure settlement. She was paid to stay quiet before the 2016 election about an alleged affair with Trump years earlier.

Daniels' real name is Stephanie Clifford.

— Rohan Goswami

Donald Trump calls grand jury indictment 'political persecution and election interference,' vows to fight Democrats

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during his first campaign rally after announcing his candidacy for president in the 2024 election at an event in Waco, Texas, U.S., March 25, 2023. 
Leah Millis | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump called the indictment by a New York grand jury "political persecution" and vowed to fight Democratic Party officials as he makes another run for the White House.

Trump's reaction came after the grand jury voted to indict the former president and current 2024 candidate following an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

"I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden. The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here," Trump said in a statement. "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."

— Brian Schwartz

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, key Manhattan DA witness, says 'no one is above the law' after Trump indictment

Michael Cohen, former attorney for former U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives to the New York Courthouse in New York City, March 15, 2023.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen, who was a key witness in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's investigation, said that "no one is above the law" after his longtime boss was indicted by a New York grand jury.

"I do take solace in validating the adage that no one is above the law; not even a former President. Today's indictment is not the end of this chapter; but rather, just the beginning," Cohen said in a statement. "Now that the charges have been filed, it is better for the case to let the indictment speak for itself. The two things I wish to say at this time is that accountability matters and I stand by my testimony and the evidence I have provided to DANY."

Cohen, in an interview on MSNBC, said he met with the district attorney at least two dozen times during Bragg's investigation into a 2016 hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Cohen was previously sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud, lying to banks and violating campaign finance laws.

Cohen told MSNBC that he believes Trump is "petrified" after the indictment.

"The mug shot is going to really upset his fragile ego," Cohen told NBC.

— Brian Schwartz

Donald Trump indicted in hush money case

A New York grand jury voted Thursday to indict former President Donald Trump in connection with a $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, his lawyer told CNBC.

Trump is the first former president to be charged with a crime.

The historic indictment stems from the Manhattan District Attorney's investigation into how the Trump Organization recorded a reimbursement to Trump's then-lawyer Michael Cohen after Cohen paid Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual encounter she says she had with Trump in 2006.

— Dan Mangan