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Former President Donald Trump is expected to be arraigned as early as Tuesday in an unprecedented legal case, potentially reshaping the American political landscape ahead of next year’s election.
Trump became the first former US president to be indicted on Thursday when a Manhattan grand jury determined there was enough evidence to proceed with a case against him for directing hush money payments to a porn star during his 2016 campaign. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office said it had been in contact with Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender.
Joe Tacopina, Trump’s lawyer, confirmed the former president planned to appear before New York authorities. He said he hasn’t been told what the specific charges are and expects them to remain under seal until the arraignment. The White House declined to comment.
Trump, who is running for president again and faces multiple other legal probes, called the indictment “political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history.”
Several key questions remain outstanding, including what precise charges he faces and whether he may actually spend time in jail. Neither criminal charges nor a conviction would disqualify him from running or even serving as president. Read more from Patricia Hurtado.
Trump’s indictment breathes new life into his favorite campaign tactic — running as the aggrieved victim of a Democratic-run Deep State hellbent on keeping him and his supporters out of power.
Just when Republicans were beginning to believe that Trump was vulnerable if he ran a campaign about all the people he believes are out to punish him, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg gave the one-term ex-president no reason to change his tune. Read more
The indictment in New York won’t stop federal and state prosecutors in other jurisdictions from bringing their own charges, but a logjam of cases — criminal or civil — will make it harder to resolve them all as fast as Trump’s adversaries might want. The looming 2024 campaign season adds another layer of potential complications. Read more here about where the rest of the pending investigations and civil cases surrounding Trump stand.
The Trump Organization pressured its former chief financial officer to drop lawyers seen as too cooperative with New York prosecutors who have now charged Trump, according to people familiar with the matter. Read more
Congress, Biden Out of Town
- The House and Senate are on recess until the week of April 17.
- Biden and the first lady receive a briefing on disaster response efforts in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, at 11:25 a.m. CDT. At 12:55 p.m. CDT, they meet with residents and local leaders in the area, and at 1:25 p.m. CDT, the president gives a speech on supporting rebuilding efforts.
- At 7:10 p.m. EST, Biden and the first lady arrive in New Castle, Delaware.
ON LAWMAKERS’ RADAR
A bipartisan Senate effort to shore up Social Security is hitting a political roadblock.
The Senate on Thursday passed bipartisan legislation making it easier for the government to adjudicate claims of fraud against it.
Legislation that would break up Alphabet Google’s dominance over the online advertising ecosystem is gaining steam in Congress.
The IRS reports its customer phone service numbers are way up compared with last year’s filing season, but some GOP lawmakers and watchdogs aren’t sold.
Deepening Tensions With China
The Biden administration is going to unprecedented lengths to play down the importance of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to the US this week, as officials try to keep an already soured relationship with China from getting any worse.
Although China already has protested the visit, several people familiar with the matter say they believe China’s response may be more muted than earlier feared. The people, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations, said Tsai scrapped some events and limited her press engagements, which were seen as most likely to draw Beijing’s ire. Read more
- Biden’s efforts to put a floor under the rapidly deteriorating relationship with China have not yet succeeded, Biden’s top Asia adviser said Thursday. “There’s a recognition that in many respects our efforts to build a foundation or floor under the relationship and guardrails have yet to be successful,” White House Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell said at an event at the Center for a New American Security. Read more
What Else We’re Reading Today
Certain cancer screenings and HIV prevention drugs are among the preventive services attorneys say will be harder for lower income Americans to access after a federal judge’s decision to strike down requirements in the Affordable Care Act.
President Joe Biden welcomed Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin and his family to the White House on Thursday.
The Biden administration favors potentially increasing the World Bank’s risk tolerance in the future more than the institution’s shareholders have decided for now, a move that could enable the lender to provide billions more for global challenges including climate change.
Finland is poised to join NATO in a matter of days, bolstering Europe’s security architecture and dealing a blow to President Vladimir Putin’s stated aim to deter the defense alliance from encroaching on Russia’s border.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Israel counterpart Eli Cohen discussed shared challenges including Iran in a call on Thursday evening, State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said in a statement.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Katrice Eborn at email@example.com