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Donald Trump’s Indictment: First Former President to Face Criminal Charges

Donald Trump
Donald Trump Indictment ( Photo: Sky News )

Former US President Donald Trump has become the first ex-commander-in-chief in the country’s history to be indicted.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump Indictment ( Photo: CNN )

Trump’s indictment has been criticized by many Republicans, who believe that it is un-American to prosecute a serious presidential candidate.

Trump himself has maintained that he has committed no crime and that the indictment is an attack on the US and its democratic system. However, the public is yet to know the full details of the charges, as the indictment remains under seal.

The move has further divided the US’ already badly split body politic and puts the nation’s democratic principles to the test as never before. The one-man split screen of the leading presidential candidate and the criminal suspect has caused several Republicans to claim that the justice system is being used to cripple their party, whilst critics of Trump say he is finally being held to account.

Trump is accused of hiding hush money payments to a pornographic film star in 2016, whilst also facing possible criminal charges over his role in the insurrection on 6 January 2023 in Washington. There are also potential charges in Fulton County, Georgia.

Despite the indictment, Trump is still able to run for president, as the charges do not prevent him from doing so, nor would a conviction. In fact, many Republican operatives predict that the indictment will create a “rally-around-the-flag” effect that drives GOP primary voters into Trump’s camp. This was evidenced by Republican leaders who rushed to defend Trump’s indictment. Several potential rivals for the GOP nomination, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, fired off statements criticizing the indictment.

The sentiment was also captured in recent interviews with GOP voters in Iowa and Texas.

For Trump’s most ardent fans, the prospect of a conviction isn’t a deterrent in the slightest. In a Fox News poll released Wednesday, Trump led DeSantis 54% to 24% in a multicandidate field, a gap that had doubled since a similar survey in February. This raises the possibility that Trump could be defending himself as he takes a major-party nomination.

Whatever happens next, the country will be changed again by Trump’s actions. The ex-president likes being unprecedented, and his next chapter is likely to be another first for the US.

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