A grand jury has voted to indict Trump, who alleges ‘persecution’

For the first time in history, a former American president is being prosecuted. On Thursday, after ten days of suspense, a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Donald Trump in the Stormy Daniels case. In a statement, Donald Trump denounced “political persecution” that “will backfire on Biden” and “election interference at the highest level” as he announced his 2024 presidential candidacy.

Donald Trump should not be placed under arrest. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said his office is coordinating with Trump’s attorneys to voluntarily surrender him to court in New York, likely within the next few days. Once in Manhattan, Donald Trump will be photographed and his fingerprints taken. The charges against him, for the time being under seal, will be officially presented to him by a judge during thearrangment (reading of the indictment). But neither this indictment, nor even a possible conviction, will prevent him from running in 2024.

Republicans rally around Trump

In the conservative camp, the reactions criticizing this indictment fused. For the Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, this “has damaged our country beyond repair”. This historic decision is “contrary to the values ​​​​of America”, reacted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who did not declare himself but is seen as a potential rival of Donald Trump in the Republican primary.

Don Jr, the eldest son of the former president, denounced “the weaponization of our government against its political enemies”. Elected officials Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene also threw their support behind Donald Trump.

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A complex file

For the Manhattan prosecutor, the case is far from over. A false accounting statement, with Donald Trump having the reimbursement of the $ 130,000 paid by his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels in legal fees, constitutes only a minor offense punishable by a fine. Violation of campaign finance laws, on the other hand, is a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment. Still need to convince a jury.

The case is legally complex. Federal justice, which had prosecuted Michael Cohen, never charged Donald Trump. And the Manhattan district attorney will have to prove that the then-Republican nominee intended to violate campaign finance laws with illegal campaign expenses. Trump says it was a private transaction to shield his family from Stormy Daniels’ allegations.

Mined land for 2024

In the United States, ineligibility is not the responsibility of justice but only of Congress. While Donald Trump has already announced his presidential candidacy for 2024, the prospect of a trial could still disrupt the Republican primary. Before criticizing the Manhattan prosecutor’s office, Ron DeSantis had pulled a scud against Trump and accusations “of an ex-porn star”.

For the New York billionaire, the Stormy Daniels case is undoubtedly the least dangerous. Special Prosecutor Jack Smith’s investigation into the Capitol assault, the 2020 presidential election and the classified documents is making great strides. Judges recently compelled Trump lawyers to testify, and Mike Pence, who can still appeal, may also have to answer questions from a grand jury. Accused of pressuring election officials, Donald Trump also faces the threat of a potential indictment by Georgia justice. And in all these cases, it is not a question of extramarital affair but of the democratic process and national security.

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