New York grand jury weighing Trump indictment won't meet today
He would be the first former U.S. president ever to be charged with a crime.
A New York grand jury investigating President Donald Trump's role in a hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels will not meet on Wednesday as scheduled.
The 23-member panel hearing evidence in the potential case was set to meet Wednesday afternoon, but was informed by prosecutors that it was not needed. The jury could reconvene Thursday.
If Trump were to be indicted, he would be the first former U.S. president ever to be charged with a crime. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office has been engaged in delicate negotiations with the Secret Service over how to handle the indictment and arrest of the former president.
Yahoo News is providing live updates and instant analysis of the unprecedented case from our reporters in New York City, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, as well as trusted partners.
The latest on the indictment
• Former President Donald Trump will be arraigned in New York City on Tuesday afternoon after the grand jury investigating a hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 election voted to indict him.
• The Secret Service, NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office have been engaged in discussions about the details of Trump's surrender.
• Trump's lawyer Joe Tacopina said Friday that when he appears in court, "the president will not be in put in handcuffs.”
• Trump is the first president in U.S. history ever to face criminal charges.
• In a lengthy statement, Trump called his indictment "Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level."
Here are the key players to know
(Photo Illustration: Jack Forbes/Yahoo News; Photos: Getty Images, AFP, Reuters)
A New York grand jury investigating Donald Trump's role in a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels has voted to indict him, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg confirmed Thursday, making Trump the first former president to ever be charged with a crime.
The unprecedented case involves numerous figures in Trump’s orbit. And keeping track of them all can get confusing, even for Trump annalists.
So we put together a handy refresher on the key players to know.
Biden refuses to comment on Trump indictment
President Biden speaks to reporters as he departs the White House on Friday. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
From Yahoo News' Alexander Nazaryan:
On Friday morning, President Biden strode out of the West Wing and across the South Lawn. Above the roaring helicopter blades of Marine One, a reporter asked him if he had any thoughts about the indictment of former president Donald Trump by a Manhattan grand jury.
“No comment,” Biden said.
In refusing to say anything about the legal drama in which Trump now finds himself embroiled, Biden is remaining diligently on script, which has amounted to a blank page when it comes to the several federal and state investigations targeting his predecessor.
Trump indictment ‘a grand waste of this nation’s time,’ head of Reagan Library says
Yahoo News' Tom LoBianco reports:
Democrats are directing a partisan investigation of former President Donald Trump and have a very weak case in the New York indictment, John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Foundation and Institute, told Yahoo News in a Friday interview.
“He is enemy number one of the Democrat Party and they will choose whatever weapon, whatever technique is at their disposal, to make that known,” Heubusch said. “Like they say, ‘any grand jury can indict a ham sandwich.’ Trump is no ham sandwich, but they’ve just proven the idiom once more. So I just think it’s just theater, it’s politics, it’s prodding and poking at Trump to disturb him as much as they can.”
Heubusch, a former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, also said that campaign finance cases are incredibly hard to prove because of the significant “gray area” in the law.
“He’s going to win that one hands down. And we’re going to see that it was just badgering or pestering of a former president,” Heubusch said. “There is absolutely no way that Donald Trump will end up behind bars as a result of a supposed violation of federal election law. It’s not going to happen. And, therefore, it is a grand waste of this nation’s time.”
Trump joins other democratic leaders who've faced criminal charges
Berlusconi, Trump and Chirac. (Photos: Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images, Brandon Bell/Getty Images, Julien De Rosa/AFP via Getty Images)
"It's not every day a that a former leader from a modern democratic nation is handed down an indictment," Yahoo News' Niamh Cavanagh writes, but it's not as uncommon as you might think. Here are some other world leaders who have been charged with crimes:
• France: In 2011, former President Jacques Chirac was given a two-year suspended sentence for embezzling public funds to illegally finance his political party. His successor Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty of corruption in 2021 after attempting to bribe a judge.
• Italy: Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was convicted of tax fraud in 2013, leading to his expulsion from Parliament by the Senate.
• South Korea: Two former presidents have been convicted of various crimes including bribery and corruption.
• Israel: Current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on trial for corruption.
Demonstrators gather outside Trump Tower in New York City on Friday. (Bryan Woolston/AP Photo)
Judge authorizes indictment against Trump to be made public
The New York judge overseeing the case against former President Donald Trump authorized Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's request to make the charges public on Friday, Yahoo partner Reuters reported, but it is not clear when Bragg will do so.
Trump is expected to be arraigned in New York on Tuesday. And the indictment, as of this hour, remains under seal.
Trump lawyer says he'll plead not guilty
According to Reuters, Trump attorney Susan Necheles said the former president will plead not guilty when he is arraigned in New York next week. She declined to comment when asked about the details of his surrender.
Another Trump attorney, Joe Tacopina, said his client would likely be fingerprinted and undergo other routine protocols but reiterated the belief that he wouldn't be handcuffed.
"I don't know how all this is going to go down," Tacopina said. "There's no textbook to see how you arraign a former president of the United States in criminal court."
Ivanka Trump: 'I love my father, and I love my country'
Former President Trump's eldest daughter, Ivanka, posted a message on her Instagram account on Friday afternoon saying she is "pained for both" her father and her country.
"I love my father, and I love my country. Today, I am pained for both," she wrote. "I appreciate the voices across the political spectrum expressing support and concern."
Ivanka Trump played an active role as a senior adviser during her father's presidency, but has since stepped back from politics and said she doesn't plan to participate in his 2024 presidential campaign.
151 years before Trump was indicted, Ulysses S. Grant was arrested for speeding on a horse-drawn carriage
Trump may be the first former president to face criminal charges, but he isn't the first president to have a run-in with the law. As Insider points out, Ulysses S. Grant was arrested in 1872, while he was president, for speeding on his horse-drawn carriage in Washington, D.C., after ignoring a warning from a police officer a day earlier.
Grant apparently looked like a "schoolboy who had been caught in a guilty act by a teacher," the officer reportedly said in his account of the incident, saying he told Grant: "I cautioned you yesterday, Mr. President, about fast driving, and you said, sir, that it would not occur again. ... I am very sorry, Mr. President, to have to do it, for you are the chief of the nation, and I am nothing but a policeman, but duty is duty, sir, and I will have to place you under arrest."
"Officers at the station were reportedly unsure if they could charge a sitting president if he'd not been impeached," Insider added. In the end, Grant paid a $20 bond but didn't show up in court.
Trump 'upset' but 'not worried' about indictment, his attorney says
Former President Donald Trump's lawyer says that his client is "upset" and "angry" but "not worried" about his indictment in the hush honey case.
"Oh, he's not worried at all," Trump attorney Joe Tacopina said on CBS Friday morning. "I mean, he's upset, angry. He is being persecuted politically. That is clear to many people — not only on the right but on the left.
"We, as Americans, honestly should be concerned," Tacopina added. "Today it's Donald Trump, tomorrow it's gonna be a Democrat. The day after that it could be your brother, or your son, your daughter."