By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - A grand jury indicted former US President Donald Trump on Thursday on charges related to a "hush money" payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
The indictment marks the first time in US history that a current or former president has faced criminal charges. Trump has long raged against the impending legal action and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who presented evidence to the grand jury. He has denied any wrongdoing and maintained that the case is politically-motivated.
"This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history," Trump said in a statement. "The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump,’ but now they’ve done the unthinkable - indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant Election Interference."
The payments were made by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who was sentenced in 2018 to three years in prison after pleading guilty to a raft of charges related to his work for Trump, including payments to two women who alleged extramarital affairs with Trump, including Daniels. Former Playboy model Karen McDougal was the other woman.
Cohen has since served as a witness against the ex-president.
Bragg's office invited Trump to testify before the grand jury earlier this month, in a sign that an indictment was likely to be returned.