The Trump Indictment, Explained

The arrest of Former President Donald Trump and how it affects his re-election

Daniel Lee, Staffer

The indictment of Former President Donald Trump marks a major and historic occurrence in politics.

Trump was arrested on April 4 following Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s unsealing of a 2016 indictment investigating the former president’s activity prior to the election. Trump is the first former president to not only be placed under arrest but also to appear before a judge.

The indictment has formally charged Trump with 34 felony counts for falsifying business records in an attempt to cover up damaging and unlawful activity. Trump has pleaded not guilty to each count.

The center of the case surrounds hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels by Trump’s then political fixer Michael Cohen in an attempt to cover up an affair. Cohen had arranged another payment by the publisher of the National Enquirer to cover up a separate affair with former Playboy model Karen McDougal, which effectively silenced her through a deal which gave the tabloid exclusive rights to publish her story.

There is no state law prohibiting hush money payments in New York, and falsifying business records is a misdemeanor. However, Bragg has charged Trump with more serious counts, arguing that the records were used to cover up other crimes relating to the election.

Trump’s defense must prove that the falsified records were not used to cover up crimes related to the election. According to defense Attorney Joe Tacopina, Trump was a victim of extortion who had paid the money because the allegations would have been embarrassing to him and not in relation to his campaign.

Trump’s indictment and a possible conviction will have no effect on his ability to run for  or win the presidency in 2024. In addition, Trump’s campaign has seen a rise in support, with over $4 million being raised within the 24 hours of the indictment going public.

If convicted, Trump may face a maximum of 136 years in prison. This indictment has resulted in protest from many republicans, including those who are expected to run against Trump in the election, and the results of this case may see a further rise in support for Trump’s campaign.