Former President Trump Indicted

Finn Witham, Editor

On Friday March 31st, Former President Donald Trump was indicted by a grand jury in New York on over 30 counts of business fraud. The alleged fraud was a coverup of payments totaling $420,000 by the Trump Organization to Stormi Daniels (via Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen), an adult film actress who threatened to reveal that she had an affair with Trump during his 2016 campaign.

According to CNN, the coverup of such payments could amount to a misdemeanor under New York law, but if the district attorney proves that Trump intended to commit a crime, this could be considered a Class E felony and carry up to four years of jail time. He is expected to be arraigned in court on Tuesday, April 4th, which traditionally is the time a defendant is booked and fingerprinted, read their rights, and asked to enter a plea. However, CNN reports that this process may look very different from normal criminal defendants given that Trump is a former President.

Trump and his allies have responded negatively to the indictment, with Trump himself attacking Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg and accusing him of perpetuating a “witch-hunt” in a public statement. Despite the indictment, there is no legal barrier to stop Donald Trump from continuing his campaign and running for President again in 2024, but it is worth noting that no other President in American history has been indicted for a crime.

It remains to be seen how Trump’s indictment will affect the Republican Presidential primaries. According to The New York Times, Trump is currently the top 2024 Republican contender, but more candidates are expected to join the race, including infamous Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. And with many months before primary elections begin, criminal charges will likely throw a major wrench into Trump’s campaign.

Regardless of how it plays out, the news is just the latest development in a long line of unprecedented firsts for the former President.