A Manhattan grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump over hush money payments made to an adult film star.
The indictment from the grand jury makes Trump the only current or former president ever to be charged with a crime.
The investigation led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg centers around an alleged $130,000 hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. The payment allegedly made before the 2016 election is said to be over an alleged affair the former president denies.
Trump responded in a lengthy statement that read in part "This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history."
Trump's Vice President Mike Pence defended him on CNN shortly after the news broke.
"I think the unprecedented indictment of a former President of the United States on a campaign finance issue is an outrage. And it appears to millions of Americans to be nothing more than a political prosecution," he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
Other Republicans rushed to Trump's defense and targeted the district attorney's motives.
"It's duplicitous charging. They're trying to smear the guy, they're trying to take cases nobody else would take and resurrect them. This is literally legal voodoo," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R - SC) told Fox News.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy tweeted out a promise to hold Bragg accountable. Meanwhile, some Democrats preached patience.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer(D-NY) tweeted, "Mr. Trump is subject to the same laws as every American. There should be no outside political influence, intimidation, or interference in the case."
The indictment remains sealed meaning the exact charges are unknown right now. The former president and the GOP's leading candidate for 2024 is expected to turn himself in next week with an arraignment Tuesday.
The New York Police Department is increasing security in anticipation of protests.
Did you know?
God is everywhere—even in the news. That’s why we view every news story through the lens of faith. We are committed to delivering quality independent Christian journalism you can trust. But it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to do what we do. Help us continue to be a voice for truth in the media by supporting CBN News for as little as $1.