CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s the first time in history a former President has been indicted.
The exact charge or charges are unknown because the grand jury indictment was filed under seal. Yet, Trump and his lawyers were notified of his indictment and have called it a political attack, saying he has not committed a crime.
This indictment is said to be related to New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into the alleged hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Bragg had been focusing on a felony charge of falsifying business records, which carries a maximum prison sentence of four years. Protests for and against the indictment happened in New York overnight. People there were torn on the grand jury’s decision.
‘He is being raked over the coals for something ridiculous, so we now live in a banana republic apparently. The DA said he was going to get Trump.”
“We’re so grateful to the courage of the DA here in Manhattan and to the whole grand jury who exercised clear wisdom.”
In a statement on Thursday evening, the former President called it “political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history.” His attorneys said they will vigorously fight this indictment.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says Trump will face the same legal system as anyone else, adding that Mr. Trump will be able to avail himself of the legal system and a jury, not politics, to determine his fate according to the facts and the law.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy stated that District Attorney “Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country,” in a social media post shared on Thursday. Massachusetts Congressman James P. McGovern released a statement saying that “Like a mob boss, he surrounded himself with a cult of criminals who took the fall for him-and now the jig is up.”
The unprecedented move by the Manhattan grand jury triggered a wave of partisan responses. “The unprecedented indictment of a former president of the United States on a campaign finance issue is an outrage,” said former Vice President Mike Pence.
Florida Governor. Ron DeSantis vowed that the state “will not assist in the extradition, even though reports suggest the former president plans to surrender voluntarily.”
Even though a former President has never been convicted of a crime, that wouldn’t bar Trump from running again. Some political advisors think the indictment could be a good thing for his campaign.
This decision raised a number of legal questions, yet, legal experts say that even if Trump is convicted, the charges against him won’t disqualify him from the presidency. There is no legal impediment to Trump continuing his presidential campaign while facing criminal charges, even if he were jailed.
“It’s not the first revelation that’s happened since he was first on the scene when he ran for President. Let’s face it he had two impeachments that he survived he has another indictment potentially coming from Atlanta Georgia for the presidential election there so people know about them so they are going to stick with him,” said Paul Robbins of Paul Robbins Associates.
Some political analysts believe that Trump’s campaign team will use the indictment as the latest “witch hunt” targeting the former President to garner support from Republican voters.
Now that a Manhattan grand jury has indicted Trump, all eyes will be on the actual indictment itself. Two sources familiar with the situation said he is likely to be arraigned next week. According to one of his lawyers, Trump is expected to turn himself in and face arraignment on Tuesday.