Fact Check

Was Donald Trump Arrested in March 2023?

Update: On March 30, 2023, a Manhattan grand jury indicted Donald Trump on charges related to hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels.

Published March 21, 2023

Updated March 30, 2023
 (Twitter user @BerkeleyDebates)
Image courtesy of Twitter user @BerkeleyDebates
On March 21, 2023, former U.S. President Donald Trump was arrested on suspicion of his alleged involvement in hush-money payments made on his behalf.

UPDATE: On March 30, 2023, The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, and other reliable sources reported a Manhattan grand jury indicted former U.S. President Donald Trump on charges related to hush-money payments made to Stormy Daniels, with whom he allegedly had an affair. 

After former U.S. President Donald Trump said he was preparing to be arrested on March 21, 2023, fabricated images supposedly showing him trying to evade law enforcement, officers taking him into custody, or his mugshot filled social media, as well as posts declaring that he had been indicted.

Those rumors were false; some of the posts were meant to be satire. As of this writing (midday EDT on March 21), Trump had not been arrested; rather, he was "waiting it out in Florida," The Associated Press reported, and it was unknown whether a Manhattan grand jury would indict him for his alleged involvement in making hush-money payments to porn actor Stormy Daniels in 2016.

A March 18 Truth Social post by Trump fueled the rumors, in which he claimed without evidence that he "will be arrested on Tuesday of next week" and urged supporters to protest that fate. Here's a screenshot of that post:

It was unclear why, or with what motivations, the former president made that declaration; a Trump spokesperson told Reuters he had not been notified of any arrest. Citing unnamed senior officials, NBC News reported the previous day that law enforcement agencies were bracing for a possible indictment "as early as next week."

The Manhattan district attorney is investigating potential crimes committed with a $130,000 payment to Daniels during Trump's 2016 presidential campaign to keep her from going public about a sexual encounter she said she had with the former president years earlier, as reported by AP.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's team appears to be looking at whether Trump or anyone committed crimes in New York state in arranging the payments, or in the way they accounted for them internally at the Trump Organization. [...]

[There] has been no public announcement of any time frame for the grand jury's secret work.

Should the grand jury decide to indict him, Trump would be the first president to face criminal charges in U.S. history.


'Trump Waits out Grand Jury as New York Braces for Protests'. AP NEWS, 21 Mar. 2023, https://apnews.com/article/trump-grand-jury-stormy-daniels-investigation-bragg-a648f30c8f7692510cc3359f0ba1c684

Cohen, Luc, et al. 'Trump Says He Expects to Be Arrested on Tuesday, Calls for Protests'. Reuters, 20 Mar. 2023. www.reuters.com, https://www.reuters.com/world/us/trump-says-he-expects-be-arrested-tuesday-manhattan-da-case-truth-social-2023-03-18/.

'The New York Hush-Money Probe of Donald Trump Explained'. AP NEWS, 10 Mar. 2023, https://apnews.com/article/trump-stormy-daniels-michael-cohen-indictment-new-york-f3ce87a1b4ec50fbeaefcbe21f87ab0b.

'Law Enforcement Agencies Are Prepping for a Possible Trump Indictment as Early as next Week'. NBC News, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/law-enforcement-agencies-are-prepping-possible-trump-indictment-early-rcna75493.


Update [March 30, 2023]: Added announcement of Donald Trump's indictment by the grand jury.

Jessica Lee is Snopes' Senior Assignments Editor with expertise in investigative storytelling, media literacy advocacy and digital audience engagement.