Donald Trump Indicted by a Manhattan Grand Jury


Image courtesy of Western Slope Now

By David Moretti

For the first time in United States history, a former President has been indicted by a grand jury. 

On Thursday, March 30th, after weeks of hearing testimony and evidence, a grand jury formally indicted Donald Trump on more than thirty counts of business fraud. Although the indictment is under seal, the formal charges are related to an alleged hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. 

Although Trump denies the alleged affair, the investigation details a 130,000 dollar payment made from Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, to Daniels just days before the 2016 election.  
Expected to appear in court on Tuesday, April 4th, Donald Trump released a statement regarding the indictment, writing, “The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it. So our Movement, and our Party – united and strong – will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat Joe Biden, and we are going to throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

As of Monday, April 3rd, Donald Trump’s arraignment is set to be on April 4th. According to spokespeople for the President, along with the US Secret Service, Trump departed Florida on Monday and will enter the New York district attorney’s office Tuesday morning to surrender before investigators book him. Due to his status, the former president will not be handcuffed or kept in a general holding cell. Instead, he will be taken directly to the courtroom by a security and secret service team for the unsealing of his formal indictment; this is also where the formal charges related to his alleged business fraud will be read aloud to the public. Although arraignments are public, it is unknown whether it will be broadcast on live television. 

Following the arraignment, the former president will likely be released on his own recognizance, and a date will be set for him to reappear in court. 

Since the announcement of his campaign in 2016, Donald Trump has been at the center of multiple controversies which have defined his public reception. His two impeachments, numerous civil lawsuit settlements, and outspoken personality have kept him at the forefront of American politics. Despite this indictment, Trump will continue his run in the 2024 presidential race, which is only heating up, especially as Republican candidates such as Nikki Haley have already announced their candidacy. 

Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), a potential presidential candidate who has been at odds with Trump, recently tweeted that the indictment is a “weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda.” 

Even amongst tensions within their own party, Republicans are continuing to rally against Democrats. Some Republican members of Congress have already expressed their discontent with the incitement. House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) called the charges “outrageous.” 

However, representative Don Bacon (R-NE) shared an opinion not widely held amongst Republican legislatures to CNN

“We have a judge. We have jurors. There is appeals. So I think in the end, justice will be done. If he’s guilty it will show up. But if not, I think that will be shown too,” said Representative Bacon.

With the 2024 election rapidly approaching, this indictment could drastically impact the reception of both presidential and congressional candidates. 

A Quinnipiac University poll which was taken after Trump hinted that he would be indicted, states, “Democrats (88 – 9 percent) and independents (55 – 36 percent) think criminal charges should disqualify Trump from running for president again, while Republicans (75 – 23 percent) think criminal charges should not disqualify him from running again.” 

This indictment is a test for all potential candidates in the upcoming 2024 election, especially Donald Trump, who has already announced his candidacy.

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