The Law v Trump (2023)

Ananya V (Year 12), Chief Contributor

Over 2 years after Biden took Trump’s chair in the Oval Office, the media is still Donald devoted.  

Anyone even remotely familiar with American politics, or politics in general, will be familiar with former president Donald Trump. And really, it would take living under a rock to not have heard about Trump’s recent struggles with the law, where he been accused of a multitude of crimes.  

The People of the State of New York v. Donald J. Trump is currently an ongoing case that is being watched by many eyes across the globe. On March 30th, 2023, Trump was indicted by Manhattan grand jury for his alleged role in a scandal regarding payments of hush money to pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election. (Side note: An Indication is basically a formal accusation that a person has committed a crime.) As a result of this, Donald Trump is the first United States president to get indicted, and he is facing 34 felony charges of falsifying business records.  

On April 4th, Trump surrendered to the District Attorney’s office where he attended his arraignment. An arraignment is a formal reading of a criminal charging document in the presence of the defendant, to inform them of the charges against them. 

But what actually happened for Trump to be charged?  

His first indictment was against Stormy Daniels. The story of their affair was first released in 2011 in a gossip blog but was later taken down by Trump’s lawyers. During the 2016 presidential elections, many publications, including the National Enquirer bought the story, but it was later suppressed. Rather than paying Daniels, Trump’s lawyers paid $130 000 USD to the National Enquirer as a non-disclosure agreement.  

Trump initially denied knowing about the agreement, but later claimed that he was aware of the payment and had directed his lawyer to pay. New York Prosecutors considered the legality of the payment and ended up classifying it as a Class E Felony. A Class ‘E’ Felony means that the perpetrator could be subject to imprisonment or home detention.  

Right now, a trial is expected unless the case is dismissed, and it is currently being discussed for late 2024.  

If Trump is convicted, each count for which he is convicted could result in a prison sentence of up to four years, to be served consecutively. The judge could also choose to impose no prison sentence, but a conviction will not stop Trump from becoming president if he wins the 2024 United States presidential election.  

Public opinion is currently showing that many Americans believe that Trump should be charged. 45% of voters believed that Trump should be charged, 32% said he should not and 23 said that they “don’t know.”  

Despite the many issues that Trump is currently facing due to the Stormy Daniels Indictment, it is not the only charge Trump is currently facing.  

New York Author E. Jean Carroll claimed that Trump had attacked her and had sexually assaulted and defamed her.  

This was another blow to his campaign for re-election, as Trump’s been found liable for any damages that happened to her.  

Despite many of the allegations against him, however, “I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO THIS WOMAN IS,” was his response on Twitter. “THIS VERDICT IS A DISGRACE – A CONTINUATION OF THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME.” 

The jury, however, found Trump guilty as they looked to his many interviews and trial videos from previous allegations.  

This certainly does not seem to be Trump’s year. But, knowing the wild and whacky ways of US politics, it would not surprise if Trump was re-elected in 2024.