Former President Donald Trump indicted by grand jury
As he predicted for weeks, former President Donald Trump has been indicted and will be arraigned Tuesday in New York amidst what is promised to be a media frenzy.
Trump’s indictment follows a Manhattan grand jury’s probe into hush money allegedly paid during the 2016 presidential campaign to squelch allegations of an extramarital sexual encounter Trump had with porn star Stormy Daniels.
Trump has categorically denied any wrongdoing and denounced the investigation as a “scam,” a “persecution,” an injustice.
As is standard in New York, the indictment has remained sealed and will not be revealed until Tuesday, when Trump is arraigned. This has left the media and the country speculating as to what it may contain that would support an indictment against the former leader of the country.
The former U.S. commander in chief’s surrender, arrest, and formal trial will be historic firsts in the country. Having personally advertised this moment for weeks, Trump’s indictment sent shock waves through the country, with most people taking sides based on political ideologies.
Citing that no man is above the law, many in the country are willing to wait for the indictment to be revealed to determine how they feel about this action against a former president of the United States.
Unless other plans are made, Trump will be treated like everyone else. He will turn himself in, be booked, have a mugshot taken and stand before a judge to enter a plea.
Trump is not expected to be handcuffed, says some Court officials, as he’ll have Secret Service protection when he surrenders. Officials believe he will be released that day.
What is haunting is Trump’s past colorful comments. Always controversial and always conflicting, his own words are coming back to haunt him around his own investigations. No one can forget Trump’s infamous comment he frequently lobbed at political opponents who elected to plead the fifth.
Trump said, “Only guilty people plead the fifth” or that “the Fifth Amendment is only used by criminals.” He made these comments as part of his campaign speeches at rallies when attacking Hillary Clinton, who was subject to congressional hearings about her use of a private email server while serving at the State Department. At Trump rallies, he would raise the question with the crowd on who takes the fifth and provide the answer saying, “The mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment.” Afterwards, he helped the crowd in their chant to “Lock her Up”, referring to Clinton.
These words were a specter as the former President Donald Trump showed up for questioning under oath in a New York civil investigation into his business practices. Trump unabashedly did exactly what he said mobsters and criminals do, he invoked his Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination by pleading the fifth.
Trump claims the indictment was specifically designed to damage his 2024 presidential run, however, he has been actively using the moment to raise funds from his supporters.
His congressional Republicans allies are coming to his aid. They are mobilizing and have painted the indictment as politically motivated. Their actions prompted a letter from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
In the letter sent to three Republican House committee chairs, Bragg said, “We urge you to refrain from these inflammatory accusations, withdraw your demand for information, and let the criminal justice process proceed without unlawful political interference.”
Meanwhile, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has promised to use congressional oversight to probe Bragg. Reps. James Comer, Jim Jordan and Bryan Steil, the committee chairs whom Bragg addressed in his letter, have asked the district attorney’s office for grand jury testimony, documents and copies of any communications with the Justice Department.
In addition to his troubles in NY, Georgia has a bullseye on Trump’s back with Fulton County prosecutors considering their own indictment of the former president for crimes he may have committed when attempting to get Georgia officials to overturn his narrow 2020 election loss to Joe Biden.
Trump also has a third investigation occuring at the federal level on his efforts to unravel national election results, along with his handling of top secret government documents that were discovered at his Florida club and residence, Mar-a-Lago.