NEW YORK, New York - A Manhattan grand jury has indicted Former U.S. President Donald Trump for his role in allegedly paying hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
The move follows an investigation that began in January this year by Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
The move has shocked and angered Trump and his advisors, as recent speculation circulated that any indictment would be delayed until after Easter and possibly even some weeks after that.
However, late Thursday, the former president's legal team was advised, and shortly after, news reports began to circulate.
The charges have not yet been revealed; however, it is understood the decision to indict is based on allegations that Mr. Trump paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 in so-cash 'hush money' from his campaign funds to keep silent about an affair she alleges she had with the former president, which Mr Trump denies.
It is understood his former attorney, Michael Cohen, who gave evidence to the grand jury, allegedly made the payment on Mr. Trump's behalf.
The former president, the first of any sitting or past U.S. president to face criminal charges, slammed the decision to indict him, saying it was politically motivated.
"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," Mr. Trump said in a statement early Thursday night.
"The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to 'Get Trump,' but now they've done the unthinkable, indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant Election Interference."
"Never before in our Nation's history has this been done. The Democrats have cheated countless times over the decades, including spying on my campaign, but weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent, who just so happens to be a President of the United States and by far the leading Republican candidate for President, has never happened before. Ever," Mr. Trump said.
"Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who was hand-picked and funded by George Soros, is a disgrace. Rather than stopping the unprecedented crime wave taking over New York City, he's doing Joe Biden's dirty work, ignoring the murders and burglaries, and assaults he should be focused on. This is how Bragg spends his time!"
"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 former president said in his statement.
The indictment comes as Trump continues to campaign for the presidency in the 2024 ballot. According to a recent Fox News poll of Republican presidential primary voters, Trump is overwhelmingly the front-runner, ahead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has yet to declare he is a candidate.