Grand Jury Indictment of Donald Trump: Implications
Updated: Apr 3
Trump Indicted in Hush Money Scandal: Legal and Political Ramifications Loom
Former President Donald Trump Indicted by Manhattan Grand Jury
Former President Donald Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on Thursday for his role in covering up hush money paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. The grand jury's indictment remains under seal, though it is expected that Trump will be charged with a violation of New York penal code 175.10, falsifying business records in the first degree.
District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office announced that it has contacted Trump's attorney "to coordinate his surrender" for arraignment. The spokesperson for Bragg stated that guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.
Trump is accused of working with his former lawyer Michael Cohen to pay Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair with him. Though Trump has denied the affair, he admitted to reimbursing Cohen for money paid to Daniels. To cover up the payment, the Trump Organization falsely claimed the reimbursement payments to Cohen were for legal fees, a felony if done to cover up another crime.
If convicted on the charge of falsifying business records in the first degree, Trump could face a prison sentence of up to four years in prison.
Despite the news of the DA's request for Trump to surrender, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, took to Twitter to say that his state would not help with arresting and extraditing the former president, should it come to that. DeSantis criticized Bragg's office as "trying to do a political spectacle," and said he had "no interest in getting involved."
In addition to the New York investigation, Trump also faces scrutiny in other probes around the country, including one in Fulton County, Ga., regarding the pressure campaign employed by Trump and his allies following the 2020 presidential election. The Justice Department has also opened a second investigation into Trump based on a trove of classified documents.
Implications of the Indictment
The indictment of former President Donald Trump by a Manhattan grand jury carries significant implications for the former president as well as for the nation. Trump could potentially face up to four years in prison if convicted on the falsifying business records in the first degree charge.
The indictment also has potential political implications as well. Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, a Republican and potential 2024 presidential contender, has taken a stance against the indictment, citing it as "election interference" and criticizing District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office for attempting to create a "political spectacle."
Democrats, on the other hand, have rallied around a message of blind justice. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., have voiced their opinion that no one should be above the law, and Trump should be allowed to peacefully respect the system and exercise his right to a trial that could prove his innocence.