Story by News Editor Ellie Youngs
On Thursday, March 30, former president Donald Trump was indicted on 30 counts of business fraud from a Manhattan grand jury; this is the first time in American history that a current or former president has been faced with criminal charges. The indictment was filed under seal, so the exact charges are unknown to the public, however, they will be revealed in the coming days.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has been investigating Trump’s involvement in the hush money payment to cover up his connections to adult filmmaker Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign.
Trump released a statement to the press claiming that this indictment is “Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history.” Certain Republican officials are in agreement with this claim, including Lindsey Graham who stated that “this is literally legal voodoo, this is political persecution, this is a combination of political hatred and selective persecution on steroids,” and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy referred to this indictment as an “unprecedented abuse of power.”
New York Law states that disguising these payments in corporate records is a misdemeanor; however, it becomes a felony if the false business records were intended to be covered up a second time.
While it is unknown to the public what these charges are, they will be revealed on Tuesday, April 4, when Trump appears in court. Trump and his supporters have made a multitude of claims that these charges are flippant, however, these claims will be significantly more difficult to back up if Trump is convicted.
This indictment raises a plethora of legal and political questions considering his previous job as president of the United States, and the fact that he intends on running again in 2024. Given the high stakes of the indictment and possible conviction, “we are in for a rocky spring,” said Douglass Brinkley, a presidential historian.
There are still a great deal of questions left unanswered; however, they will slowly but surely continue to be answered following Trump’s appearance in court on April 4.