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June 5, 2023

Updated: Trump asked to surrender after historic indictment

ebf donald trump x
ebf donald trump x

Former U.S. President Donald Trump indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on Thursday, has been asked to surrender to authorities early next week.

The AP quoting a spokesman for the Manhattan district attorney’s office said prosecutors had reached out to Trump’s defence team to arrange a surrender.

A person familiar with the matter, who was not authorised to discuss sealed proceedings, said the surrender was expected to happen next week.

District Attorney Alvin Bragg left his office Thursday evening without commenting

The indictment made Trump the first former U.S. president to face a criminal charge and jolted his bid to retake the White House next year.

The charges centre on payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital sexual encounter. They mark an extraordinary development after years of investigations into Trump’s business, political and personal dealings.

Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing and has repeatedly assailed the investigation, called the indictment “political persecution” and predicted it would damage Democrats in 2024.

In a statement confirming the charges, defense lawyers Susan Necheles and Joseph Tacopina said Trump “did not commit any crime. We will vigorously fight this political prosecution in court.”

The case centers on well-chronicled allegations from a period in 2016 when Trump’s celebrity past collided with his political ambitions.

Prosecutors scrutinized money paid to porn actor Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, whom he feared would go public with claims that they had extramarital sexual encounters with him.

The fate of the hush-money investigation seemed uncertain until word got out in early March that Bragg had invited Trump to testify before a grand jury, a signal that prosecutors were close to bringing charges.

Trump’s attorneys declined the invitation, but a lawyer closely allied with the former president briefly testified in an effort to undercut the credibility of Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen.

Late in the 2016 presidential campaign, Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 to keep her silent about what she says was a sexual encounter with Trump a decade earlier after they met at a celebrity golf tournament.

Cohen was then reimbursed by Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, which also rewarded the lawyer with bonuses and extra payments logged internally as legal expenses.

Over several months, Cohen said, the company paid him $420,000.

Earlier in 2016, Cohen had also arranged for the publisher of the supermarket tabloid the National Enquirer to pay Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 to squelch her story of a Trump affair in a journalistically dubious practice known as “catch-and-kill.”

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