12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Trump indicted: What happens next?

Former President Donald Trump
The Associated Press


Pushing for details on historic NY indictment:

Former President Trump has been indicted on criminal charges in New York over hush money payments his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign.

Trump is the first former or sitting president to be indicted and is expected to surrender to authorities early next week. The charges against him have not been publicly released yet, though allies and critics jumped on the highly anticipated indictment.

A New York grand jury voted on the charges Thursday afternoon. Trump says he’s “completely innocent” in the case, which he has characterized as part of a broader political effort to take him down, and he has started fundraising off the news.

It’s also not the only investigation into the former president that could produce a potential indictment.


The Hill’s Rebecca BeitschZach SchonfeldMike Lillis and Brett Samuels have distilled the news into five takeaways to catch you up.


Here’s why some Republicans see the indictment as a good thing.

And keep an eye on TheHill.com later today for more analysis on how this could proceed next week.

It’s Friday, March 31. That’s right, it’s FRIDAY 🎉. It’s cherry blossom season 🌸. And we are heading into a spring weekend, with spring weather (check the forecast, people) so … there’s a lot going on. I’m Elizabeth Crisp, filling in for Cate today.

Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here. 

Got some fun gossip, news that’s being overlooked or a tip on a good restaurant to check out? Gimme that: ecrisp@thehill.com and connect with me on Twitter: @elizabethcrisp.

In Congress

Lawmakers react to Trump charges:

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.)
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) speaks to a reporter after a closed-door House Republican conference meeting on Tuesday, January 10, 2023.

Members of Congress are either hailing former President Trump’s indictment by a grand jury in New York or claiming it’s part of a political witch hunt.

For Democrats, the charges are seen as a form of accountability, while Republicans largely see them as retribution.

“SO Trump finally got indicted! I predicted he would and I predicted that Stormy Daniels would get him!” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican who has been a Trump loyalist, was at an event when news broke.

“My president is innocent and the only one standing in the way of these modern day tyrants, just like our founding fathers did, to protect each of us from evil,” she said.

The Hill’s Julia Mueller has the full roundup

No deal as Congress breaks for recess:

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) addresses reporters during a press conference on Thursday, March 30, 2023 following the passage of The Lower Energy Costs Act.

The stalemate over lifting the country’s debt ceiling before a catastrophic default that would send ripples through the world economy is ongoing as lawmakers decamp Washington for the two-week Easter recess, with members returning the week of April 17.

The blame game continues over what’s causing the impasse.

It’s even to the point where House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) felt like taking an apparent dig at President Biden’s age while discussing the topic.

“He is making the decision that he wants to put the economy in jeopardy. I don’t know what more I can do and how easy — I would bring lunch to the White House. I would make it soft food if that’s what he wants. It doesn’t matter. Whatever it takes to meet,” McCarthy told reporters this week.

BUT: Some House Republicans are deemphasizing the importance of a GOP budget in debt-ceiling talks. The Hill’s Emily Brooks and Aris Folley have that story.

In the White House

Biden didn’t get ‘heads up’ on Trump charges

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Friday that President Biden wasn’t told in advance that a Manhattan grand jury had voted to indict former President Trump.

“We found out — all of us, including the president — found out about the news yesterday, just like every other American, through the news reports,” Jean-Pierre said.


Biden repeatedly declined to comment on the indictment when asked about it by reporters on Friday, as The Hill’s Alex Gangitano reports:

When the president was asked if he’s worried about protests after the indictment, he replied, “No. I’m not going to talk about the Trump indictment.”

He was asked what Thursday’s indictment of Trump means for the rule of law in the U.S. and replied, “I have no comment at all.”

The president, who is in Mississippi today to survey devastating storm damage, will be in Delaware this weekend.


GOP hopefuls react to Trump news:

Former President Trump’s declared and presumed rivals for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination are largely rallying around him amid his indictment.

Most of the possible GOP candidates have come to Trump’s defense, blasting Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) and claiming the case is political in nature.

“The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said in a statement.

(Soros has responded to the attacks here)

Check out a roundup of what GOP candidates are saying, via The Hill


The Florida governor, who’s making all the moves to run in 2024, says his state won’t assist authorities by extraditing Trump if asked.

Notable tweets 

‘Good day’:

As news of Trump’s unprecedented indictment came down overnight, one man who had pursued charges against the former POTUS had just five words to say on social media:

“It’s been a good day,” former FBI director James Comey tweeted.

Other reactions (~cough depends on the party cough~):

NBC News political reporter Sahil Kapur put the GOP House Speaker and Democratic Senate Majority Leader’s responses to former President Trump’s indictment into one tweet. See the differences here

On tap

The House and Senate are out until April 17. President Biden is in Mississippi, and Vice President Harris continues her diplomatic mission in Africa.

  • 8 a.m.: President Biden and the first lady left the White House for Mississippi.
  • 9:40 a.m.: Vice President Harris and Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema held a joint press conference before meeting with staff and family members of the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka.
  • 12:25 p.m.: Biden received an operational briefing on response to the storms.
  • 1:55 p.m.: The president will meet with community leaders and people impacted by the storms in Rolling Fork, Miss.
  • 2:25 p.m.: Biden delivers remarks on Mississippi’s recovery.
  • 4:40 p.m.: Biden departs Jackson, Miss., arriving in Delaware for the weekend at around 7 p.m.
  • Note: Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will gaggle aboard Air Force One en route to Jackson, Miss.

All times Eastern. 

What to watch

  • 2:25 p.m.: President Biden delivers remarks on Mississippi’s recovery from recent devastating storms. (Watch here)
  • Stormy Daniels will be on Piers Morgan’s show Friday, the host tweeted.
  • Looking ahead: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) will be on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Myers” on Tuesday. (Check local listings)

In lighter news

Today is National Tater Day! Fry ’em, bake ’em, broil ’em, boil ’em. There are so many ways to celebrate with a spud. I’m going with mashed for dinner tonight, but it’s all on you how you want to feast on this starchy staple. Get your potato on!

And because you made it this far, check out this video that makes me think of my sweet little darling kitten girls when I got them 18 years ago. They looked just like that!

Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to ecrisp@thehill.com. A friend forward this to you? Subscribe here. And check out other newsletters from The Hill here. See you next week!

Tags Alvin Bragg Alvin Bragg Donald Trump Donald Trump Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Manhattan District Attorney Marjorie Taylor Greene Stormy Daniels

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