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Trump indicted on criminal charges in hush money payment case

Former US President Donald Trump addressing his supporters at a campaign rally in Davenport, Iowa, US March 13, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

Former US President Donald Trump has been indicted on criminal charges in a hush money payment case.

The indictment was confirmed on Thursday by Joe Tacopina, a lawyer for Trump, as well as other sources familiar with the matter who were not authorized to discuss sealed criminal charges.

The move to indict Trump is of historic significance as no former president has ever been criminally charged.

Trump's criminal charges are related to the cover up of a hush money payment to ex-porn actress Stormy Daniels.

Daniels claims she and Trump had a sexual encounter, and that she accepted $130,000 from Trump's former lawyer before the 2016 election in exchange for her silence about the matter.

Paying hush money is not illegal; however, Trump's payment was made a month before the presidential election, and his opponents argue that the money was paid out of election donations and could amount to a campaign violation.

Trump has denied both the affair with Daniels and any violations regarding campaign laws. However, he did acknowledge paying the $130 grand hush money to his former lawyer.

Last week, Trump warned US officials of "potential death and destruction" if he was indicted by court.

Trump, who has repeatedly described the charges raised against him as politically-motivated, called on his supporters to stage mass protests to show their opposition to the probe regarding hush money payment to the former actress of porn movies.

On his social media network, Truth Social, Trump described the court investigation as a political witch-hunt by a "corrupt, depraved, and weaponized justice system".

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