A Grand Jury has voted to indict Donald Trump. What does that mean?


A grand jury in Manhattan, New York, has reportedly voted to indict former U.S. President Donald Trump. He’s now on track to become the first former U.S. President to be charged with a crime.

The indictment relates to an investigation into whether he indirectly paid $130,000 in ‘hush money’ to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

The Grand Jury is a group of ordinary people asked to recommend whether charges should be laid (an indictment).

So it’s now up to the District Attorney leading the investigation, Alvin Bragg, to formally indict Trump. The New York District Attorney’s office has now contacted Trump’s lawyer to coordinate his surrender after the indictment was finalised.

The hush money at the centre of the indictment

The Manhattan investigation relates to a $130,000 payment made on Trump’s behalf to his lawyer Michael Cohen in 2017.

The payment was recorded for business purposes as being for ‘legal expenses’. However, it’s alleged it was reimbursement for money Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, had paid adult film star Stormy Daniels to buy her silence on an alleged affair with Trump in 2006 (Trump denies the affair).

Hush money is not illegal but falsifying business records is in New York. If it can be established this was the purpose of the money, Trump may have broken the law by falsifying a business record.

What would it mean?

Trump’s indictment would mean he is legally required to attend a court hearing.

He could either hand himself over to authorities in New York or be arrested. He wouldn’t necessarily be held in jail or imprisoned because of the indictment.

What does the indictment mean for the 2024 election?

Trump announced his campaign to run for U.S. president in the 2024 election last year. He has since started rallies to gain support for his campaign.

An indictment or criminal conviction would not legally stop Trump from running for president in 2024.

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