A Manhattan grand jury voted to indict 1968 Wharton graduate and former President Donald Trump, making him the first former president to face criminal charges.
The indictment was first reported by The New York Times, which cited five people with knowledge of the matter. Trump’s indictment comes amid an investigation led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg into his connection to a $130,000 hush-money payment that his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump paid Cohen back via Trump Organization funds and falsely labeled the transfer as “legal fees” while he was in the White House, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
On March 18, Trump posted on his social media platform, Truth Social, calling upon his supporters to “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK” in the event of his arrest, according to the Times. The Times reported that the indictment would be announced in the next few days. Trump will be asked to surrender and be arraigned on his charges, which will be brought by the Manhattan district attorney's office.
Trump, who announced his third presidential campaign in November, recently faced an unprecedented FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago home that was greenlit by 1987 Penn Law graduate Bruce Reinhart. The Manhattan charges against Trump follow a lawsuit led by 1996 College graduate Michael Avenatti, who, in 2018, became the lawyer for Daniels — who sued Trump’s nullification of the hush-money payment.
In a “60 Minutes” interview, Daniels said that a Trump attorney threatened her against publicizing her 2006 affair with Trump, who married his third wife and former First Lady Melanie in 2005.
On numerous occasions, Trump has told reporters and supporters that he “graduated first in his class” from the Wharton School, but The Daily Pennsylvanian reported in 2017 that Penn records and Trump’s classmates dispute this claim.
In 1968, the DP published a list of the 56 students included on the Wharton dean’s list, and notably, Trump’s name is absent. 1968 Wharton graduate Jon Hillsberg previously told the DP that there is no evidence that Trump graduated with any latin honors or awards, citing the 1968 Commencement Program obtained from the Penn Archives.