The accusation of Donald Trumpthe first by a US presidential candidate, introduces a halo of uncertainty into his electoral campaign for the year 2024.
The main risk for the former president is the potential adversity from moderate Republicans and independentswho could view indictment by a New York court as a red line.
Trump is accused of having paid $130,000just before his presidential victory in November 2016, to the actress of porn movies Stormy Danielswho claims to have had sexual relations with the tycoon, who denies it.
Is the Trump campaign in danger?
This first accusation could open the door to others: Trump is also subject of an investigation for the way in which he managed the files in the White House and for allegedly exerting electoral pressure on the state of Georgia. In the latter case, the prosecutor promised an “imminent” decision.
But the indictment could also benefit the candidate at a time when he lacks the campaign dynamics of years ago.
Julian Zelizer, a professor at Princeton University, acknowledges that any other presidential candidate would be “terrified” by such accusations, but “one of Trump’s greatest talents is taking advantage of the attacks against him”.
Trump came to power in November 2016 in an unprecedented political scenario that almost no one had predicted, and he may be tempted to position himself as a rogue candidate again.
The New York billionaire does not miss an opportunity to repeat his well-known script as a leader close to the Americans – mostly white and of a certain age – who fight against “mass corruption” in Washington.
And he’s already sent out the first fundraising emails, asking his supporters to donate between $24 and $250 to “support President Trump at this crucial time.”
“The New York prosecutor did more to help Donald Trump get elected president than anyone in the United States today,” influential Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Saturday, calling the New York indictments “selective.”
The conservative right abandoned him after the attack on the US Congress in January 2021 by his supporters but, in a few months, the former leader managed to regain almost total control of the party, the agency reported. AFP.
It was announced a thousand times that it was falling, but it has so far survived all the scandals. As if, by dint of accumulation, they no longer had any effect.
Trump, unusual: “They are going to arrest me on Tuesday, protest and recover our nation”
What the polls say about Trump’s candidacy
Most polls still point to the former president as the clear winner in a Republican primary.
Most of his rivals for the Republican nomination have avoided criticizing Trump over his court cases so as not to anger the party boss and his constituency, which they need to win the White House.
They “are trapped,” says Professor Zelizer. “Some want to be more critical but are afraid to challenge it.”
Trump’s Black Record: What Other Investigations He Faces
Donald Trumpwho this Thursday became the first former president in the history of the United States to be criminally indicted, faces other investigations at the state and federal level that threaten his run for the White House in 2024.
storming the capitol
A congressional committee, dissolved by the Republican majority that took office this year in the lower house, investigated the Trump’s role in his supporters’ attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021when legislators were preparing to certify the victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential elections.
During several hearings, the committee, made up mainly of Democrats, claimed that the former Republican president inflamed his supporters before the assault and that he “failed in his duty as commander in chief” during the attack.
In its final report, the panel said Trump should not be allowed to hold public office again and recommended that federal courts open criminal proceedings against him, particularly for calling for insurrection.
This is the case that could lead to the most serious charges against Trump.
A special prosecutor, Jack Smith, is also investigating the former president’s role in attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. When the investigation is complete, he could decide whether or not to indict him.
But the last word will be the Secretary of Justice, Merrick Garland.
A Georgia prosecutor has been investigating since 2021 the “attempts to influence electoral operations” of this southern state, which Biden won by a narrow majority in 2020.
In a phone call, the recording of which has been made public, Trump asked a senior local official, Brad Raffensperger, to “find” almost 12,000 votes in favor of him.
Fani Willis, the Fulton County prosecutor, which includes Atlanta, appointed a grand jury to determine whether there was enough evidence to indict the tycoon.
He obtained testimonies from those close to Trump, such as his former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
This grand jury recommended indicting several people, without revealing whether the former president is among them.
Donald Trump to jail? Expectation in the United States for the possible indictment
White House files
Leaving the White House, Trump took whole boxes of documentsdespite the fact that a 1978 law requires all US presidents to send all their emails, letters and other working documents to the National Archives.
In January 2022 Trump returned 15 boxes. But federal police estimated that the former president likely had more at his Mar-a-Lago residence.
Subsequently, FBI agents carried out a search, prior court order, for “retention of classified documentsand “obstruction of a federal investigation”and confiscated about thirty more boxes.
An intense legal battle was then opened to determine the nature of the seized documents (classified? personal? declassified?) which slowed down the procedure, but the case may lead to a federal indictment.
Special Counsel Smith is also investigating the case.
Trump targeted for “financial fraud”
In January, the Trump Organization was sentenced in New York to pay a fine of up to 1.6 million dollars for tax and financial fraud. It is a criminal case but another civil one awaits him in a few months.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, has filed a lawsuit against Trump, his children and the Trump Organization.
He accuses them of having “deliberately” manipulated the value of the group’s assets – which include golf clubs, luxury hotels and other properties – to obtain more advantageous loans from banks or reduce taxes.
By virtue of the foregoing, 250 million dollars in damages are claimed on behalf of the state, as well as the prohibition of the former president and his relatives from managing companies.
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