Donald Trump faces about 30 charges related to document fraud in New York City after a grand jury voted Thursday to indict the former president, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.
The exact charges are unknown because the indictment remains sealed until Trump is expected to appear in court for his arraignment on Tuesday. The large number of charges is likely due to prosecutors filing separate charges for each payment in question.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg could choose to unseal the indictment earlier, but as of Friday morning, it appeared the prosecutor will follow normal procedure and wait until Trump appears in court.
The case, one of at least three separate and ongoing investigations into the former president, centers on alleged money Trump paid two women to keep quiet about affairs they allegedly had with him before the 2016 campaign, including the adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Trump has denied the affair but acknowledged the payments.
Two sources familiar with the work of the Manhattan grand jury say prosecutors also questioned witnesses about an alleged previous payment of hush money to former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal.
In 2018, Michael Cohen, a longtime former Trump attorney, pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws and admitted to making secret payments of $130,000 and $150,000 to two women «at the direction of a candidate for federal office.» , a clear reference to Trump, although he was not named – «for the purpose of influencing the  election,» according to court documents.
The amounts match the amount paid to Daniels and McDougal.
McDougal had said that she had a month-long affair with Trump shortly after he married Melania Trump, which Trump has denied. He was paid through the parent company of the National Enquirer, a Trump-aligned tabloid that bought exclusive rights to his story, which he never published, in a so-called «catch and kill» operation to protect Trump.
Cohen is now the government’s star witness. Prosecutors are expected to allege that Trump falsified business records to cover up payments to Daniels and McDougal, which they are expected to say amounted to illegal campaign spending.
Trump has said the payments were a legal expense and he did nothing wrong, calling the impeachment a political witch hunt.
Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopino, said in an interview on NBC’s «TODAY» show Friday that there is «zero chance» the former president will accept a plea deal, insisting that Trump expects to be vindicated before or during the judgment.
“President Trump will not accept a plea deal in this case. It’s not going to happen,» Tacopinas said. «There is no crime. I don’t know if he will go to trial because we have significant legal challenges.»