The White House is silent on the unprecedented indictment of former President Donald Trump.
The former president of the United States, and the leading Republican presidential nominee for 2024, was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury Thursday after a years-long investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
The White House declined to comment when asked for reaction to the unprecedented charges against Trump.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has been investigating Trump for hush money payments made leading up to the 2016 presidential election.
These include the $130,000 payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, and the $150,000 payment made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, Fox News Digital has learned.
Hush money payments made to both McDougal and Daniels were revealed and reported by Fox News in 2018. Those payments had been investigated by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York and by the Federal Election Commission.
Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York opted out of charging Trump related to the Stormy Daniels payment in 2019, even as Cohen implicated him as part of his plea deal. The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021.
"This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal," a spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said in a statement Thursday. "Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected."
Trump reacted to his indictment, slamming Bragg for his "obsession" with trying to "get Trump," while warning the move to charge a former president of the United States will "backfire" on President Biden.
"This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history," Trump said in a statement. "From the time I came down the golden escalator at Trump Tower, and even before I was sworn in as your President of the United States, the Radical Left Democrats- the enemy of the hard-working men and women of this Country- have been engaged in a Witch-Hunt to destroy the Make America Great Again movement."
Meanwhile, the charges against Trump come amid a separate, special counsel investigation into his alleged improper retention of classified records from his presidency at his Mar-a-Lago home.
Last August, the FBI, in an unprecedented move, raided Trump’s private residence at Mar-a-Lago in connection with an investigation into classified records the former president allegedly took with him from the White House.
Attorney General Merrick Garland later appointed Jack Smith as special counsel to take over that investigation, and the Justice Department’s investigation into the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021 — specifically whether Trump or other officials and entities interfered with the peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election, including the certification of the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6, 2021.
President Biden is also currently under special counsel investigation for his alleged improper retention of classified records from the Obama administration. Former Vice President Pence also had classified records at his home—a matter under review by the Justice Department.