New York prosecutors have signaled to former President Donald Trump that he will likely face criminal charges in a case involving hush money allegedly paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, according to a report.
Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg has notified attorneys for Trump, 76, that the former commander-in-chief will be given the opportunity to defend himself next week in front of the grand jury hearing evidence in the case before the indictment comes down, according to the New York Times.
Trump is likely to decline the offer – which is usually only presented to potential defendants when criminal charges are close to being filed – the outlet reports.
If he’s indicted, Trump would be the first former president in US history to face criminal charges.
Bragg’s office has been investigating the Daniels hush money case for the past five years.
The case centers on a $130,000 payment made to the porn star during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Daniels and former Trump fixer Michael Cohen allege that the payment was made to keep her quiet about a 2005 affair she claims to have with Trump.
Cohen says he paid Daniels the hush money and Trump later reimbursed him in monthly installments.
It’s unclear what charges Bragg intends to bring against Trump, but the report notes that prosecutors could accuse the former president of falsifying business records and then elevate that charge to felony by arguing that it was attached to a second crime.
In this case, that the hush money was an improper donation to Trump’s campaign because it kept the affair under wraps and benefited his candidacy.
Trump on Thursday responded to the report of an imminent indictment in New York, arguing that he did “nothing wrong” and calling the case a “Witch-Hunt.”
“I did absolutely nothing wrong,” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post.
“I never had an affair with Stormy Daniels, nor would I have wanted to have an affair with Stormy Daniels,” he went on.
“This is a political Witch-Hunt, trying to take down the leading candidate, by far, in the Republican Party while at the same time also leading all Democrats in the polls,” Trump argued, calling it a case of “extortion.”
The former president also accused the Justice Department of placing “top DOJ prosecutors into the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in order to ‘get Trump.’”
“This is not a state case, it is a federal case, and they have all passed on it,” Trump raged.
“Even the previous Manhattan DA, Cyrus Vance, did not bring charges because I am guilty of nothing except for the fact that I am beating all Republicans and Democrats badly in the Presidential race,” he added, claiming that the statute of limitation on bringing charges in the hush money case expired over a year ago.
Trump, who is a 2024 Republican candidate for president, is also facing scrutiny from prosecutors in Fulton County, Ga., over allegations that he attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
Attorney General Merrick Garland also appointed a special counsel last November to oversee criminal investigations into Trump’s mishandling of classified documents and his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol Building.