‘He had it coming’: World media react to Donald Trump’s unprecedented indictment

News organizations across the globe led on Friday with the sensational news that Donald Trump will be indicted over hush payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Headline writers took full advantage of the salacious mix of a bombastic ex-president and the unprecedented criminal charges linked to his porn star former ‘lover’ and a check for $130,000.

They questioned the strength of American democracy, the risk of violent unrest from Trump supporters, and even the possibility his 2024 presidential bid will be strengthened.

Germany’s respected Der Spiegel led coverage in its international edition with a comment piece titled, ‘He Had It Coming’. In France, Le Monde drew attention to the unprecedented nature of the charges: ‘Trump becomes first former American president to be indicted.’

Newspapers in the UK scrambled to get the news into their late editions after the indictment news broke at about 10.30pm local time. The Times of London updated its second edition with the front page headline: ‘Trump will be arrested in historic move to charge ex-president’.

El Diaro splashed a picture of Donald Trump in front of a row of US flags. In Poland, the popular Super Express tabloid’s headline (right) roughly translated to ‘Specter of arrest, strengthened Trump’

In Britain, a Guardian writer asked: 'What does Donald Trump's indictment say about US democracy?'

In Britain, a Guardian writer asked: ‘What does Donald Trump’s indictment say about US democracy?’ 

Germany's respected Der Spiegel included a commentary in its international edition headlined 'He Had It Coming'

Germany’s respected Der Spiegel included a commentary in its international edition headlined ‘He Had It Coming’

The BBC, one of the world's most read news websites, said in a commentary that Trump's indictment 'is sending shockwaves across the political landscape'

The BBC, one of the world’s most read news websites, said in a commentary that Trump’s indictment ‘is sending shockwaves across the political landscape’

The Daily Telegraph headlined its story: ‘Trump charged over porn star payment’.

Europe’s most popular newspapers splashed pictures of the former president across their front pages and posed questions about the stability of America’s democracy – and the possibility of unrest following the indictment.

Italy’s la Repubblica talked up the ‘risk of street violence’. Spain’s El Correo’s front page was dominated by a large picture of the president, headlined simply: ‘Trump, imputado’ (Trump indicted).

The news also dominated the front page of El Pais, another of Spain’s most read newspapers, with the headline: ‘Donald Trump, el primer presidente de EE UU imputado’ (Donald Trump, the first US president indicted).

In Poland, the popular tabloid Super Express ran a past photo of Trump with his arms raised in celebration, headlined: ‘Widmo aresztowania, wzmocnito Trumpa’ (Specter of arrest, strengthened Trump). 

Italy's la Repubblica carried a picture of Trump on its front page. A piece published by the newspaper referred to the 'risk of street violence' from Trump supporters over the charges

Italy’s la Repubblica carried a picture of Trump on its front page. A piece published by the newspaper referred to the ‘risk of street violence’ from Trump supporters over the charges

Spain's El Correo's front page was dominated by a large picture of the president, headlined simply: 'Trump, imputado' (Trump indicted)

Spain’s El Correo’s front page was dominated by a large picture of the president, headlined simply: ‘Trump, imputado’ (Trump indicted)

The news also dominated the front page of El Pais, another of Spain's most read newspapers, with the headline: 'Donald Trump, el primer presidente de EE UU imputado' (Donald Trump, the first US president indicted).

The news also dominated the front page of El Pais, another of Spain’s most read newspapers, with the headline: ‘Donald Trump, el primer presidente de EE UU imputado’ (Donald Trump, the first US president indicted).

Trump, 76, will be arraigned in Manhattan at 2.15pm on Tuesday on an array of business fraud charges relating to 2016 hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.

The news broke at around 5.30pm ET. Even Trump and his closest advisers were blindsided by the indictment, after many guessed the charges were on ice after the Manhattan grand jury announced a month-long hiatus.

Judge Juan Merchan was spotted arriving at the Manhattan criminal courthouse in casual clothes last night flanked by two security officers, leading many to believe that he has been chosen for the case.

Merchan previously presided over the Trump Organization fraud trial, where the family business was fined $1.2million on a range of charges.

On Friday morning, Trump took to Truth Social to complain that Merchan ‘hates’ him and had been ‘handpicked’ by Bragg and his cronies. 

The Times of London updated its front page to include the news in its second edition. Several British newspapers scrambled to update their front pages after news broke at about 10.30pm local time

The Times of London updated its front page to include the news in its second edition. Several British newspapers scrambled to update their front pages after news broke at about 10.30pm local time

Another story on the Times' website told the salacious tale of 'the porn star and the president'

Another story on the Times’ website told the salacious tale of ‘the porn star and the president’

The Daily Telegraph, in the UK, headlined its piece 'Trump charged over porn star payment'

The Daily Telegraph, in the UK, headlined its piece ‘Trump charged over porn star payment’

The international response came as newsstands across America on Friday were dominated with front pages about the unprecedented indictment of a former US president

The international response came as newsstands across America on Friday were dominated with front pages about the unprecedented indictment of a former US president

Meanwhile, anti-Trump protesters gathered in force outside Trump Tower in Manhattan to celebrate the indictment. They held up protest signs that read ‘lock him up’, a play on his supporters’ old chants about Hillary Clinton.

The indictment against him signals the first time a US president has ever been criminally charged. Trump and his attorneys say it’s a political witch hunt designed to hurt his chances in the 2024 election. 

President Biden declined to comment when approached by reporters outside the White House.

Trump and his wife Melania were captured just hours after a grand jury recommended that he be indicted over a $130,000 hush money payment to former porn star Stormy Daniels.

The ex-president and frontrunner to be Republican nominee in 2024 said he is ‘completely innocent’

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