Would Trump's Indictment Remain Under Seal Until He Is Arraigned?

Trump's indictment could remain under seal or be released earlier, depending on the judge and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Published March 23, 2023

Updated March 24, 2023

UPDATE: On March 30, 2023, The Wall Street JournalAssociated 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. 

In March 2023, claims began to spread on Twitter that former U.S. President Donald Trump's indictment would have to remain under seal until he is arraigned. He was indicted on March 30. The indictment will be related to hush-money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election, which the Manhattan District Attorney's Office (DA) began investigating in 2018. 

Before Trump was indicted, there was much speculation about whether Trump had already received a sealed indictment, as well as what the timeline would be for revealing it to the public. 

According to Fareed Nassor Hayat, an associate professor at City University New York (CUNY) School of Law, an indictment is a formal written notice framed by a prosecuting authority and found by a grand jury charging a person with an offense. An arraignment is a formal call before a court to answer an indictment, where a statement of charges is given.

The indictment will most likely remain sealed, according to news reports. Trump and his lawyers would not have to be the ones to announce he had been indicted.

According to CNBC, the indictment would be filed under seal, but a judge could unseal it before Trump was arraigned. In addition, Forbes reported Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg could unseal the indictment. 

Since Trump has been indicted, the DA's office and Trump's legal counsel will discuss his legal surrender. A warrant could also be issued for his arrest if he didn't willingly surrender.


Becket, Stefan. "Timeline: Donald Trump, Stormy Daniels and the $130,000 Payment to Buy Her Silence." CBS News, 20 Mar. 2023,

Breuninger, Kevin. "Here's What Trump's Possible Arrest in New York Could Look Like." CNBC, 22 Mar. 2023,

Definition of ARRAIGN. 6 Feb. 2023,

Definition of INDICTMENT. 4 Mar. 2023,

Durkee, Alison. "Here's What Will Happen If Trump Is Arrested (Yes, He'll Probably Get A Mugshot)." Forbes, Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

Emery, David. "9 Wild Rumors About the Donald Trump-Stormy Daniels Affair." Snopes, 21 Mar. 2023,

Gregorian, Dareh. "A Manhattan Grand Jury Has Voted to Indict Trump." NBC News, Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Marsh, Julia & "Trump Indictment Could Land Soon, Sending Law Enforcement Scrambling." Politico, 20 Mar. 2023,


March 24, 2023: This report was updated to include Fareed Nassor Hayat's definitions of indictment and arraignment.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.