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Trump live updates: Trump indicted by Manhattan grand jury, sources say

(NEW YORK) — A grand jury is continuing to weigh charges against former President Donald Trump in connection with the Manhattan district attorney’s probe into the 2016 hush payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

No current or former president has ever been indicted for criminal conduct.

Here is how the news is developing. All times Eastern. Check back for updates:

Mar 30, 6:36 PM EDT
What to know about an indictment with Trump facing charges

Criminal prosecution proceedings typically start with an arrest and a court appearance, but legal experts say that on many occasions, especially in white-collar crimes, suspects aren’t hit with charges or a visit from an officer until long after an official investigation is underway.

Typically, if a crime is being investigated, law enforcement agents will make an arrest, file initial charges and bring a suspect to be arraigned in court, Vincent Southerland, an assistant professor of clinical law and the director of the criminal defense and reentry clinic at NYU School of Law, told ABC News.

However, Southerland noted that prosecutors can start with the criminal indictment process in the beginning, especially if their case needs more evidence to press those charges.

Cheryl Bader, an associate clinical professor of law at Fordham University, told ABC News that such a move is common in white-collar criminal investigations that involve looking at delicate nuances in the state law and require more time.

Bader said investigations into prominent figures, such as the current investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office into former President Donald Trump, also prompt prosecutors’ offices to make their case to the grand jury in the most meticulous and thorough way possible.

-ABC News’ Ivan Pereira

Mar 30, 6:28 PM EDT
DNC responds

The Democratic National Committee said in a statement 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.”

The DNC vowed, “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.”

Mar 30, 6:27 PM EDT
Trump could still be elected president despite indictment, experts say

Former President Donald Trump can still be elected president — even if he is convicted — experts tell ABC News. But there are practical reasons that could make it a challenge, experts say.

Trump said recently at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that he would “absolutely” stay in the race for president even if he were to be criminally indicted.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and has characterized the probe as part of a “witch hunt” against him.

The U.S. Constitution does not list the absence of a criminal record as a qualification for the presidency.

Constitutional experts also told ABC News that previous Supreme Court rulings hold that Congress cannot add qualifications to the office of the president. In addition, a state cannot prohibit indicted or convicted felons from running for federal office.

-ABC News’ Laura Romero

Mar 30, 6:16 PM EDT
Trump tells ABC News indictment is ‘attack on our country’

Former President Donald Trump told ABC News over the phone that the indictment is “an attack on our country.”

He called it a “political persecution,” adding, “They are trying to impact an election.”

Mar 30, 6:14 PM EDT
Stormy Daniels’ lawyer responds to indictment

Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Clark Brewster, issued a statement on the indictment, saying: “The indictment of Donald Trump is no cause for joy. The hard work and conscientiousness of the grand jurors must be respected. Now let truth and justice prevail. No one is above the law.”

While the indictment remains under seal, Trump had been under investigation by the Manhattan district attorney over a $130,000 payment he made to the adult film actress to keep her from going public with a claim of an affair, which he denies.

Mar 30, 6:03 PM EDT
Trump’s indictment could mark turning point in 2024 campaign, even if he says otherwise: ANALYSIS

Donald Trump being formally accused of a crime could change the outlook for the still-forming field of Republican presidential candidates in 2024 — either rallying primary voters primed by his talk of the “deep state” and “retribution” or opening up an unprecedented line of criticism for Trump’s rivals.

The indictment itself isn’t disqualifying, legally speaking. The U.S. Constitution doesn’t prevent people under indictment or criminal investigation from running for the White House, experts have told ABC News, so the former president could still be reelected despite the indictment — and would still be eligible even if it leads to a conviction, regardless of practical obstacles like potential incarceration.
 

Mar 30, 5:34 PM EDT
Trump indicted

ABC News has learned that former president Donald Trump has been indicted, according to multiple sources with knowledge.
 

Mar 28, 9:29 PM EDT
Grand jury expected to meet Thursday on other matters: Sources

The Manhattan grand jury weighing charges against former President Donald Trump will not convene on Wednesday and is expected to meet Thursday on other matters, sources familiar with the situation told ABC News.

The proceeding is conducted in secret and the grand jury could be presented with evidence or vote at any time.

Mar 27, 4:30 PM EDT
Former publisher of the National Enquirer seen leaving DA’s office

David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer, was seen leaving the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office with his lawyer on Monday.

Pecker testified before the grand jury for about an hour, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Pecker, who allegedly helped arrange the payment to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election, previously spoke to the grand jury in January.

The district attorney’s office may have called Pecker to bolster Michael Cohen’s earlier testimony about the purpose of the payment.

Mar 27, 7:29 AM EDT
Manhattan grand jury expected to reconvene Monday

The Manhattan grand jury weighing charges against former President Donald Trump is expected to reconvene on Monday, sources tell ABC News.

-ABC News’ Aaron Katersky

Mar 26, 4:48 PM EDT
GOP oversight chair defends getting involved in NY Trump probe

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer on Sunday defended taking the escalatory step of getting Congress involved in the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation of Donald Trump by using his position to request answers from the prosecutor, Alvin Bragg.

“If Mr. Bragg wants to come in and explain to us what he what he’s doing, and he makes a good explanation, he makes a good argument and we see that we’re in an area where we shouldn’t belong, such as the Republicans — some of the Republican senators — say, then we will back off,” Comer, R-Ky., said on CNN. But, he added, “I don’t believe that Bragg would be doing this if Donald Trump were not running for president, and that’s something that we would like to ask Mr. Bragg as well.”

Pushed by CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who said Bragg is investigating potential violations of state and not federal crimes, Comer said, “This is about politics. This is a presidential candidate.”

Comer insisted that he would be more accepting of the investigation if it was being brought by the Department of Justice rather than a local district attorney, though he later said he wanted all “meddling” to end.

Bragg’s office has signaled that they may be moving closer to a charging decision — such as for falsifying business records, sources have said — in relation to $130,000 that Trump paid the adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election in order to prevent her from going public with an affair claim.

Trump denies all wrongdoing, including a relationship with Daniels.

He falsely said that he would be arrested last week and has urged protests.

-ABC News’ Adam Carlson and Cheyenne Haslett

Mar 25, 7:46 PM EDT
Republicans urge Alvin Bragg to comply with their request for documents, testimony

In a new letter Saturday, the Republican leaders of three powerful House committees responded to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s rebuff of their request for documents and testimony related to the Trump probe.

Reps. Jim Jordan, James Comer and Brian Steil argued in the 8-page letter they have legislative purpose for demanding such material.

Bragg’s office pushed back against the chairmen’s original request on March 20, stating it would “not be intimidated by attempts to undermine the justice process.”

Leslie Dubeck, Bragg’s general counsel, responded that it was “an unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty.”

In a new statement Saturday, Bragg’s office said it is “not appropriate for Congress to interfere with pending local investigations.”

“This unprecedented inquiry by federal elected officials into an ongoing matter serves only to hinder, disrupt and undermine the legitimate work of our dedicated prosecutors,” his office said.

Read more about the GOP request for information on the Trump case here.

-ABC News’ Lauren Peller

Mar 24, 10:30 PM EDT
Mayor Adams’ office condemns threat to DA Bragg

A spokesman for New York City Mayor Eric Adams issued a statement Friday evening condemning the threatening letter sent to District Attorney Alvin Bragg that included powder later deemed non-hazardous.

“While we cannot comment on the specifics of any ongoing investigation, no public official should ever be subject to threats for doing his or her job,” the statement read.

The spokesman added, “I’m confident that every elected official in the City, including Manhattan DA Bragg, will continue to do their work undeterred, and anyone found to be engaging in illegal conduct will be brought to justice.”

Mar 24, 5:35 PM EDT
DA Bragg stresses ‘safety’ for staff after threat sent to him

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg thanked his staff for their “strength and professionalism” in an email sent Friday and reassured them the powder sent to him in a letter discovered earlier in the day was not hazardous.

The email, which was obtained by ABC News, was sent to Bragg’s 1,600-member staff about three hours after the letter was discovered in a basement mail room on Friday.

“I want to reiterate my message from Saturday: your safety is our top priority,” the email said, referring to an earlier message to staff obtained by ABC News that followed former President Donald Trump’s social media call for protest and an inaccurate prediction he would be arrested on Tuesday.

The latest message revealed that some in the office had received “offensive or threatening phone calls or emails” and Bragg apologized for what he called the “distressing disruptions.”

Bragg concluded with his often-repeated vow to apply the law evenly and fairly.

He also mentioned a film shoot occurring this weekend outside the courthouse at 60 Centre St. could include simulated explosions.

Mar 24, 4:33 PM EDT
Letter threatening to kill ‘Alvin’ found at Manhattan DA’s office: Sources

A white powder was discovered in the mailroom at 80 Centre Street, where the Manhattan District Attorney has offices and where a grand jury has been meeting to hear evidence in former President Donald Trump’s case, according to a court official. The powder was determined to be non-hazardous, officials said.

The powder came in an envelope addressed to “Alvin,” an apparent reference to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, according police sources.

Inside the envelope was a letter containing the typewritten message, “Alvin: I am going to kill you,” with 13 exclamation points, according to sources.

This envelope followed a series of unfounded threats that targeted municipal offices in New York this week.

“For three days we got four emails,” Susan Stetzer, district manager at Manhattan Community Board 3, told ABC News on Friday.

At least one of the messages prompted the court to pause a hearing in the New York Attorney General’s civil lawsuit against Trump.

None of the email messages mentioned Trump by name. One included what Stetzer described as a “horrible homophobic rant.”

According to Stetzer, the messages came from @mail.ru domains and some contained Cyrillic characters. The FBI is aware but does not immediately assess that the emails came from Russia, according to a law enforcement official.

“We did not get one today so I’m hoping it stops,” Stetzer said.

New York City courthouses will see increased security, the Office of Court Administration said Friday.

Mar 24, 4:12 PM EDT
White powder addressed to ‘Alvin’ found at Manhattan DA’s office

A white powder was discovered in the mailroom at 80 Centre Street, where the Manhattan District Attorney has offices and where a grand jury has been meeting to hear evidence in former President Donald Trump’s case, according to a court official. The contents of the envelope were determined to be non-hazardous, officials said.

The powder came in an envelope addressed to “Alvin,” an apparent reference to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, according police sources.

This envelope followed a series of unfounded threats that targeted municipal offices in New York this week.

“For three days we got four emails,” Susan Stetzer, district manager at Manhattan Community Board 3, told ABC News on Friday.

At least one of the messages prompted the court to pause a hearing in the New York Attorney General’s civil lawsuit against Trump.

None of the email messages mentioned Trump by name. One included what Stetzer described as a “horrible homophobic rant.”

According to Stetzer, the messages came from @mail.ru domains and some contained Cyrillic characters. The FBI is aware but does not immediately assess that the emails came from Russia, according to a law enforcement official.

“We did not get one today so I’m hoping it stops,” Stetzer said.

New York City courthouses will see increased security, the Office of Court Administration said Friday.

Mar 24, 4:08 PM EDT
Trump escalating attacks on Manhattan DA

Former President Donald Trump has escalated his attacks on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his staff. Overnight, Trump posted on social media that if he were to be indicted it could result in “potential death and destruction.”

Mar 23, 3:43 PM EDT
Officials closely watching ‘online environment’ surrounding potential indictment

Senior administration officials at the Department of Homeland Security are continuing to “watch closely, particularly in the online environment” surrounding a potential indictment against former President Donald Trump, a senior administration official said.

There is nothing “that rises to the level of being credible and specific” or “actionable,” the administration official said. However, the official said that online “there are always things that emerge that will cause people to take note and possibly raise concern.”

As the grand jury continues, the lines of communication with local authorities like the NYPD and Capitol Police have been “wide open.”

“It’s been a several day period of, I’d say, very open and continued information exchange between and among federal and state partners, focused on this issue,” a senior administration official said.

-ABC News’ Luke Barr

Mar 23, 3:43 PM EDT
Officials closely watching ‘online environment’ surrounding potential indictment

Senior administration officials at the Department of Homeland Security are continuing to “watch closely, particularly in the online environment” surrounding a potential indictment against former President Donald Trump, a senior administration official said.

There is nothing “that rises to the level of being credible and specific” or “actionable,” the administration official said. However, the official said that online “there are always things that emerge that will cause people to take note and possibly raise concern.”

As the grand jury continues, the lines of communication with local authorities like the NYPD and Capitol Police have been “wide open.”

“It’s been a several day period of, I’d say, very open and continued information exchange between and among federal and state partners, focused on this issue,” a senior administration official said.

-ABC News’ Luke Barr

Mar 23, 11:31 AM EDT
DA says compliance with GOP’s requests for information would interfere with investigation

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s general counsel responded to House Republicans Thursday, telling them compliance with their requests for information would interfere with a legitimate law enforcement investigation.

General counsel Leslie Dubeck noted the House inquiry only resulted from former President Donald Trump’s social media post.

“Your letter dated March 20, 2023 (the “Letter”), in contrast, is an unprecedented inquiry into a pending local prosecution,” Dubeck wrote. “The Letter only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene. Neither fact is a legitimate basis for congressional inquiry.”

Mar 23, 9:50 AM EDT
Grand jury won’t meet about Trump case this week

The grand jury hearing evidence of former President Donald Trump’s role in alleged hush money paid to Stormy Daniels will not meet about the case for the remainder of the week, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

The grand jury is meeting Thursday to consider a different case, the sources said. The grand jury news was first reported by Business Insider.

The grand jury is expected to reconvene Monday to consider the Trump case, at which time at least one additional witness may be called to testify, the sources said.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to comment.

It is not uncommon for grand juries to sit in consideration of multiple cases at once.

Mar 23, 7:37 AM EDT
Manhattan grand jury expected to reconvene Thursday

The Manhattan grand jury weighing charges against former President Donald Trump is expected to reconvene on Thursday, sources tell ABC News.

Mar 23, 5:28 AM EDT
Trump could still be elected president if indicted or convicted, experts say

According to law, former President Donald Trump can be elected president if indicted — or even convicted — in any of the state and federal investigations he is currently facing, experts tell ABC News. But there are practical reasons that could make it a challenge, experts say.

Trump said earlier this month at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that he would “absolutely” run for president even if he were to be criminally indicted.

“I wouldn’t even think about leaving,” Trump told reporters ahead of a speech. “Probably it will enhance my numbers.”

Mar 22, 12:51 PM EDT
Manhattan grand jury to reconvene as early as Thursday

The Manhattan grand jury weighing charges against former President Donald Trump in connection to the Stormy Daniels hush payment investigation is not meeting on Wednesday, sources told ABC News. The earliest the grand jury would reconvene is Thursday, sources said.

The grand jurors were called Wednesday morning and told they were not needed during the day as scheduled, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News. The grand jurors were told to be prepared to reconvene on Thursday when it’s possible they will hear from at least one additional witness, the sources said.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to comment, citing a policy of not discussing grand jury matters.

-ABC News’ John Santucci and Luke Barr

Mar 22, 8:25 AM EDT
With Trump case looming, what is an indictment?

Criminal prosecution proceedings typically start with an arrest and a court appearance, but legal experts say that on many occasions, especially in white collar crimes, suspects aren’t hit with charges or a visit from an officer until long after an official investigation is underway.

Typically, if a crime is being investigated, law enforcement agents will make an arrest, file initial charges and bring a suspect to be arraigned in court, Vincent Southerland, an assistant professor of clinical law and the director of the criminal defense and reentry clinic at NYU School of Law, told ABC News.

After this arraignment, prosecutors would impanel a grand jury for a formal criminal indictment. Southerland, who has been practicing law in New York state for 19 years, said this process includes giving the jury evidence, possible testimony and other exhibits before they can officially charge a person with felonies.

A Manhattan grand jury is currently investigating Trump’s possible role in the hush payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. The former president has denied any wrongdoing and having an affair with Daniels. His attorneys have framed the funds as a response to an extortion plot.

-ABC News’ Ivan Pereira

Mar 21, 6:11 PM EDT
Pence discourages protests if Trump indicted

Former Vice President Mike Pence discouraged any protests should a grand jury indict Donald Trump.

“Every American has the right to let their voice be heard. The Constitution provides the right to peaceably assemble. But I think in this instance, I would discourage Americans from engaging in protests if in fact the former president is indicted,” Pence said Tuesday when asked by ABC News if Americans should protest a possible indictment.

Pence said he understood the “frustration” while calling the case “politically motivated.”

“But I think letting our voices be heard in other ways, and in not engaging in protests, I think is most prudent at this time,” he said.

-ABC News’ Libby Cathey

Mar 21, 11:00 AM EDT
McCarthy grows frustrated as Trump questions persist at House GOP retreat

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy again ripped into Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg when asked about the potential charges against former President Donald Trump at a Tuesday press conference at the House GOP retreat in Orlando.

When McCarthy was asked directly if had concerns about Trump’s alleged conduct regarding the alleged hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, he didn’t answer the question and instead pivoted to talking about Hillary Clinton and Bragg.

“What we see before us is a political game being played by a local. Look, this isn’t New York City, this is just a Manhattan,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy said he hasn’t spoken to Trump in three weeks.

When asked if Trump is still the leader of the Republican Party, McCarthy took a jab at the press: “In the press room, for all of you, he is.”

-ABC News’ Katherine Faulders and Will Steakin

Mar 21, 10:14 AM EDT
Grand jury to reconvene on Wednesday

A grand jury will reconvene on Wednesday to continue to weigh charges against former President Donald Trump in connection with the Manhattan district attorney’s probe into the 2016 hush payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, paid $130,000 to Daniels in the closing days of the 2016 presidential campaign to allegedly keep her from talking about an affair she claimed to have had with Trump.

Trump has denied the affair and his attorneys have framed the funds as an extortion payment.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is mulling whether to charge Trump with falsifying business records, after the Trump Organization allegedly reimbursed Cohen for the payment then logged the reimbursement as a legal expense, sources have told ABC News. Trump has called the payment “a private contract between two parties” and has denied all wrongdoing.

Trump this weekend wrote on his Truth Social platform that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday.

The U.S. Secret Service is coordinating security plans with the NYPD in the event of an indictment and arraignment in an open courtroom in Manhattan, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News. The two agencies had a call Monday to discuss logistics, including court security and how Trump would potentially surrender for booking and processing, according to sources briefed on the discussions. White collar criminal defendants in New York are typically allowed to negotiate a surrender.

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