Trump becomes first ex-US president to be criminally charged

Donald Trump on Thursday indicted by a Manhattan grand jury after a probe into hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, making him the first former US president to face criminal charges even as he makes another run for the White House.

The specific charges are not yet known, as the indictment remains under seal, but CNN on Thursday reported Trump faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud.

The charges will likely be unsealed by a judge in the coming days at which point Trump will have to travel to Manhattan for fingerprinting and other processing.

Trump said he was “completely innocent” and indicated he would not drop out of the 2024 presidential race. He has accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, of trying to hurt his chances of winning a re-election against Democratic President Joe Biden.

Bragg successfully prosecuted Trump’s business last year on tax-fraud charges, leading to a $1.61 million criminal penalty.

The Manhattan investigation is one of several legal challenges facing Trump.

Trump will face a mug shot, finger-printing and court appearance next week after being indicted over a probe into hush money paid to a porn star in the historic US first.

The possible spectacle of Trump’s appearance in Manhattan on Tuesday before a judge as the first sitting or former president to face criminal charges could further divide the US, Reuters reported.