Donald Trump Indictment: Weathering the Storm

Despite horrible mismanagement of the American economy during his Presidency, Trump remains a powerful personality and could return despite the criminal charges against him.

Donald Trump

On 30 March 2023, Former US President Donald Trump has been indicted by a grand jury in New York in the New York Supreme Court over violations of campaign finance laws during the 2016 election. This will be the first time in US history that either a current or former president has faced a criminal indictment. The details of the charges are officially unknown but supposedly are with regards to payments made to keep “Stormy Daniels,” a former adult film actor quiet on her alleged extramarital sexual relations with Trump during the presidential campaign. Trump’s arraignment is scheduled for next Tuesday.

As the legal process unfolds and details come to the American people, many will be watching closely to see how it plays out, especially given the historic nature of the indictment. It remains to be seen how Trump and his supporters will respond to the charges, and what impact they will have on the American political landscape going forward.

Who is Stormy Daniels?

Stephanie Clifford, AKA Stormy Daniels, is a former adult film actor who gained public attention for her alleged affair with Trump. Stormy Daniels claimed to have met Trump in 2006 during a charity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, where Trump invited her to dinner they engaged in consensual sex. However, Trump has denied this. The story gained attention in 2018 when it was revealed that Stormy Daniels received USD 1,30,000 for her silence just before the 2016 presidential election.

Corruption charge

The payment to Stormy Daniels is the subject of the Manhattan district attorney’s indictment of Trump for the possible violation of campaign finance laws. Stormy Daniels has become a public figure, making media appearances. She has even considered running for a US Senate seat in Louisiana in 2010. Stormy Daniels has spoken out against Trump.

Also Read: How Right-wing Governments take advantage of Crisis: Case of Türkiye

How many charges are against Trump?

While Trump has faced many lawsuits, the indictment is particularly serious both personally and politically. Beyond this trial, many investigations are already underway.

First, the investigations are being led by the Manhattan District Attorney. The Manhattan District Attorney is looking at the business practices of his family company, the Trump Organisation. They are examining whether the company committed various acts of fraud over several decades. This may reveal a longer history of corruption by the company.

Another investigation is being launched by the Department of Justice. The Department is looking into the removal of government documents from the White House. These documents were taken to Trump’s Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago after he left office.

Yet another investigation has looked at Trump’s alleged role in the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January 2021, when a mob of his supporters stormed the building, and also the New York attorney general is conducting a civil investigation against Trump and three of his children, accusing them of fraud and deception.

capitol hill
Attack on the US Capitol on 6 January 2021, when a mob of his supporters stormed the building,

Trump has called these accusations part of a witch hunt against him. People close to Trump have said that he wants to come to court in handcuffs as part of a presentation that he is being persecuted. This may resonate with his supporters and will be used by the Trump campaign to work in his favour politically in the future. Many of Trump’s enemies want him to face jail time, as they feel it would validate their feelings of him as a criminal. Even Stormy Daniels has reportedly celebrated the news. The indictment will have no bearing on Trump’s ability to run for elections in the future, as Trump has announced his intention to run for American President in the 2024 elections. The issue is going to be played up by both Trump and his opponents during his presidential campaign.

Why Right-wing politicians play the victim when charged with Corruption

Trump has spun the scandalous corruption charges against him as part of a campaign against him. Even in India, right-wing politicians have tried to usurp the moral high ground when accused of corruption. This works only when there is a passionate base of supporters who are committed to the personality of the politician rather than their performance. Despite horrible mismanagement of the American economy during his Presidency, Trump remains a powerful personality and could return despite the criminal charges against him.

 

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