They expect Donald Trump to turn himself in early next week

Donald Trump was indicted for a manhattan grand jurya historical reckoning after years of investigations about his personal, political and business dealings and an abrupt jolt in his bid to retake the White House.

The exact nature of the charges was unclear Friday because the indictment remained sealed, but they stem from payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence allegations of an extramarital sexual encounter. Prosecutors said they were working to coordinate Trump’s rendition, which could happen as early as next week. They did not say whether they intended to seek prison time in the event of a conviction, a development that would not prevent Trump from seeking and assuming the presidency.

The indictment, the first against a former US president, brings the local district attorney’s office into the heart of a national presidential race and leads to criminal prosecution in a city the former president called home for decades. Coming at a time of deep political divisions, the charges are likely to reinforce, rather than reshape, the competing perspectives of those who see accountability as overdue and those who, like Trump, feel the Republican is under attack. for political purposes by a Democratic prosecutor.

Trump, who has denied wrongdoing and has repeatedly attacked the investigation, called the accusation “political persecution” and predicted it would hurt Democrats in 2024. In a statement confirming the charges, defense attorneys Susan Necheles and Joseph Tacopina said Trump “did not commit any crime. We will vigorously fight this impeachment in court.”

A spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney’s office confirmed the allegation, saying prosecutors had contacted Trump’s defense team to coordinate a turnaround.. Tacopina said it is “likely” that Trump will turn himself in on Tuesday.

“We are working on that logistics right now”Tacopina said on NBC’s “Today” show Friday morning. “He will not hide in Mar-a-Lago.”

Tacopina insisted that Trump would not accept a plea agreement: “There is no crime.”

Trump was asked to surrender on Friday, but his lawyers said the Secret Service needed more time while it made security preparations, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they could not publicly discuss security details.

The case centers on well-documented allegations from a 2016 period when Trump’s celebrity past collided with his political ambitions. Prosecutors pored over months of money paid to porn actor Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, whom he feared would go public with claims they had had extramarital sexual encounters with him.

The timing of the indictment appeared to surprise Trump campaign officials after news reports that criminal charges would likely be weeks away. The former president was at Mar-a-Lago, his property in Florida, on Thursday and he filmed an interview with a conservative commentator earlier that day.

The impeachment also means that Trump will have to simultaneously fight for his freedom and his political future, while also defending against potentially more dangerous legal threats including investigations into attempts by him and his allies to undo the 2020 presidential election, as well as the hoarding of hundreds of classified documents.

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