Fact Check

Yes, Trump Was Just Indicted

On March 30, 2023, former President Donald Trump became the first ex-U.S. President indicted in a criminal investigation.

Published March 30, 2023

 (SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)
Image courtesy of SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images
Claim:
President Trump was indicted by a grand jury convened by the Manhattan District Attorney's office on March 30, 2023.

On March 30, 2023, former President Donald Trump was indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney's office. As explained by the NBC News, "the exact charge or charges against Trump is unknown because indictments are typically filed in court under seal after a grand jury's vote in New York." He is the first ex-president indicted in a criminal investigation.

The Manhattan DA's office, lead by Alvin Bragg, had reportedly been focusing on "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," as reported by CNBC:

The Trump Organization in business records described the reimbursement to Cohen as a legal expense. Falsifying business records is normally a misdemeanor under New York law, but can be elevated to a felony if the misstatement was done to cover up another crime. Trump denies having sex with Daniels or committing wrongdoing of any kind.

The indictment  was confirmed by Trump attorneys Susan Necheles and Joseph Tacopina in a statement to NBC News. "President Trump has been indicted," it read. "He did not commit any crime. We will vigorously fight this political prosecution in Court." President Trump also confirmed the news in a statement to the New York Times' Maggie Haberman:

This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history. From the time I came down the golden escalator at Trump Tower, and even before I was sworn in as your President of the United States, the Radical Left Democrats - the enemy of the hard-working men and women of this Country - have been engaged in a Witch-Hunt to destroy the Make America Great Again movement. You remember it just like I do: Russia, Russia, Russia; the Mueller Hoax; Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine; Impeachment Hoax 1; Impeachment Hoax 2; the illegal and unconstitutional Mar-a- Lago raid; and now this. [...]

I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden. The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. 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, and we are going to throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

The announcement came as a surprise, as reports from earlier in the week suggested the grand jury hearing the case against Trump, which was impaneled in January 2023, would be taking a pre-planned recess. The next steps for the former president likely involve Trump surrendering to New York authorities, as reported by The New York Times' William Rashbaum:

In the days ahead, Donald J. Trump is expected to walk through the routine steps of felony arrest processing in New York, now that a grand jury has voted to indict him in connection with his role in a hush-money payment to a porn star. But the unprecedented arrest of a former commander in chief will be anything but routine.

Accommodations may be made for Mr. Trump. While it is standard for defendants arrested on felony charges to be handcuffed, it is unclear whether an exception will be made for the former president because of his status. Most defendants have their hands cuffed behind their backs, but some white-collar defendants who are deemed to pose less of a danger have their hands secured in front of them.

Lawyers for Trump have said the former president will surrender to New York authorities and fly from Mar-a-Lago to New York for the arraignment.

Because multiple sources at multiple news outlets, lawyers for Trump, and Trump himself have confirmed the indictment, the claim is "True."

Sources

Dhanis, Marta. "Manhattan Grand Jury Won't Meet on Trump Case until April 24: Source." Fox News, 29 Mar. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/manhattan-grand-jury-wont-meet-trump-case-april-24-source.

"Donald Trump Indicted; 1st Ex-President Charged with Crime." AP NEWS, 30 Mar. 2023, https://apnews.com/article/trump-hush-money-new-york-indictment-election-027d0e5ac1881a4c55c6379deae75faa.

"Full Statement." Twitter, https://mobile.twitter.com/maggieNYT/status/1641564660166950914. Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Rashbaum, William K., et al. "Manhattan Prosecutors Begin Presenting Trump Case to Grand Jury." The New York Times, 30 Jan. 2023. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/30/nyregion/trump-stormy-daniels-grand-jury.html.

---. "This Is What Will Happen When Trump Is Arrested in the Coming Days." The New York Times, 30 Mar. 2023. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/30/nyregion/indictment-meaning-trump-arrest.html.

"Trump Indicted by Manhattan Grand Jury." NBC News, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/manhattan-grand-jury-voted-whether-indict-trump-rcna73588. Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

"Trump Indicted Live Updates: Manhattan Grand Jury Voted in Hush Money Probe." NBC News, 30 Mar. 2023, http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/live-blog/live-updates-manhattan-grand-jury-indicted-donald-trump-rcna75172.

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.