Monday, April 15, 2024
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Donald Trump becomes the first indicted president of the United States

Al Capone was put in jail for tax evasion, despite considering himself the bloodiest capo of his era. Could Donald Trump go to jail for an accounting trick? That remains to be seen, but at the moment he is already the first former president of the United States to be charged with a crime.

The charge is embarrassing. Trump is accused of hiding a $130,000 payment he made through his attorney, Michael Cohen, to porn actress Stormy Daniels, whose birth name is Stephanie Gregory. It was about preventing him from telling the press, a week before the elections, the alleged affair that the two had in 2009, shortly after his wife Melania Trump gave birth to the couple’s only child. Cohen has testified against him and has presented the check signed by the tycoon, among other compelling evidence.

After months of evidence and testimony, the New York grand jury, which had been studying the evidence against him for months, voted on his indictment late yesterday, according to US media sources, finding probable cause. The play had been perfect. A rumor spread the day before among the main newspapers assured that it would not have turned out until the end of April. After all, grand jury meetings are secret, however public they may have been made. With this, the prosecution sought a bit of calm for this delicate part of the judicial process. In the last ten days, the former president has encouraged his hosts through social networks to prevent his arrest. “Protest, protest, protest!” he wrote on Truth Social, when he announced that he would be arrested on Tuesday of last week. It did not happen that day, but he continued to stir the hornet’s nest: “There will be death and destruction,” he said on Friday.

Yesterday there was no one at the door of the courts waiting for a decision that was not already available for this week. Reporters rushed to the fences as soon as the news broke to cover the protests, but they far outnumbered the four stray cats from the Young Republicans Club who came out to demonstrate. The organization issued a statement announcing that its members would stay home.

For now, the only thing that will happen is that the prosecution will negotiate with the defense to hand him over to photograph him, read him his rights, take his fingerprints and, maybe, just maybe, symbolically put the handcuffs on him. The prosecutor can still choose not to press charges, but that seems unlikely. Alvin Bragg seems destined to go down in history as the first prosecutor to indict a former president. Hence the continuous attacks and death threats that he has received, in addition to an intimidating letter from the Republican leadership of Congress, that he has no power over the United States Attorney.

The accusation will not prevent Trump’s presidential candidacy from continuing its course, because the trial could last more than two years, but if it is not delivered, the campaign will be very complicated. The prosecution would then have to issue a search and arrest warrant that would force police across the country to arrest him when he crossed their borders. Trump moved his residence to Florida as legal troubles were multiplying in his home state. There his rival for the GOP nomination, Florida Gov. Ron de Santis, a frequent target of his attacks, has said he will not intervene in what he considers a political issue.

The former president himself rushed the announcement of his candidacy last November to clothe himself with that perception of immunity and be able to claim that everything is “a witch hunt! The Republican Party has closed ranks in his defense, but no one supports his call for protests after the chilling attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2020. A grand jury in Washington is also studying the evidence that would implicate him in that insurrection, in addition to that of Georgia, which is investigating his attempts to tamper with the election results, recorded during a phone call.

Trump will most likely spend the next two years embroiled in his legal defense, so his best lifeline would be to become his party’s presidential nominee and win the November 2024 election. surveys with the scandal.

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