Donald Trump may finally face an indictment

For 40 years, Former President Donald Trump navigated countless legal investigations without ever facing criminal charges. That record could soon end.

trumpet could be prosecuted by a Manhattan grand jury as soon as this week, likely charged with falsifying business records related to his 2016 campaign gag payments to women who accuse force him to have sex.

It’s one of those some investigations have intensified as Trump begins his third presidential run. He has denied all allegations of wrongdoing and accused prosecutors of engaging in a politically motivated “witch hunt” aimed at damaging his campaign.

An indictment in New York would mark an extraordinary turning point in American history, making Trump the first former president to face criminal charges. And it would have enormous weight on Trump himself, threatening his longstanding ability to avoid the consequences despite being entangled in a dizzying number of cases.

The indictment, biographer Michael D’Antonio said, would be a “shocking turn of events, not only because a former president was indicted for the first time, but also because one of the most permissive. At the very top of the business, someone whose devotion to abusing the very well-established system is being caught.

“Throughout his life, he did things where he could have been investigated and potentially prosecuted and learned from those experiences that he was able to act without being charged. punishment,” he said.

Trump first faced legal scrutiny in the 1970s when the Justice Department launched a racial discrimination lawsuit against his family’s real estate business.

Trump and his father fought fiercely in a lawsuit alleging they refused to rent apartments to blacks in predominantly white buildings. Testimony showed that applications by potential black tenants were marked with the letter “CORE” for “color”. Trump counter-suited for $100 million, accusing the government of defamation.

The case ended with a settlement that paved the way for some black tenants but did not force the Trumps to explicitly admit that they had “failed and neglected” to comply with the Public Housing Act. equal.

Since then, Trump and his businesses have been the subject of thousands of civil lawsuits and numerous investigations. There have been investigations into his real estate and casino dealings, allegations of bribery and inappropriate lobbying, fraud allegations against the now defunct Trump University, and The Trump Foundation Charity and an Investigation. by Manhattan District Attorney into sales at the Trump SoHo luxury apartment hotel in Lower Manhattan.

Indeed, according to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government oversight group abbreviated as CREW, as of November 2022, Trump has been accused of at least 56 criminal offenses since he launched his campaign in 2015, excluding allegations of fraudulent business transactions. But he was never formally prosecuted.

Trump is a master of delay tactics, “seeking endless delays in the hope that the investigation and litigation will pass. And he’s been remarkably successful,” said CREW president Noah Bookbinder, a former federal corruption prosecutor.

“That makes accountability so essential because we can’t let people in a functioning democracy operate in positions of power with complete impunity,” he said. , where they can commit crimes and never face any consequences.”

Trump hit back at such a powerful statement: He did not commit a crime, so the consequences themselves would be unjust.

As president, Trump continues to face regulatory scrutiny. For two years, the Justice Department investigated his 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia. While special counsel Robert Mueller has never found direct evidence of collusion, his final report provided evidence of obstruction. He noted that, because of the department’s opinion prohibiting the prosecution of a sitting president, he cannot recommend that Trump be criminally charged, even in secret.

Since Trump left office, investigations have come closer than ever.

In January, the company named after him fined 1.6 million USD for tax crimes, including conspiracy and falsifying business records. The company’s longtime CEO, Allen Weisselberg, is currently in prison for tax evasion penalty about job privileges.

Additional cases are still being pursued. In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is investigating whether Trump and his allies illegally interfered in the 2020 election?. Chairman of a special grand jury, heard from dozens of witnesses. said last month that the panel had recommended indicting many people and hinted that Trump could be among them. Ultimately, Willis will decide whether to continue or not.

In Washington, Trump is being watched by special counsel Jack Smith because of his handling of – allegations that he mishandled – classified documents after leaving office, as well as efforts to be made public. His extensive testimony aimed at staying in power, despite his defeat in the 2020 election. Justice Department lawyers in the document investigation said they had gathered evidence of potential crimes. regarding Trump’s withholding of defense information as well as potential efforts to impede their work.

Some legal experts have questioned the wisdom of leaving the Manhattan case as the first case against Trump, when more serious charges could emerge. Trump is expected to be charged with forging business records, a misdemeanor unless prosecutors can prove the conduct was done to conceal another crime.

The case involves payments made by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who served time in prison after pleading guilty in 2018 to federal charges, to porn actor Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal. Cohen was reimbursed by Trump, whose company recorded the refunds as “legal expenses”.

Politically, Trump’s allies believe the lawsuit will actually benefit the former president in the short term by invigorating his base in the competitive Republican primary. settlement, and will create another dynamic later if the case ultimately fails to reach a conclusion.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said, “The New York prosecutor did more to help Donald Trump get elected,” echoing the views of other GOP officials who also argued that the election. The investigation may help Trump in the short term.

An indictment will not stop Trump from continuing his campaign. There is no ban on running away while under criminal charges — or even after a conviction. Indeed, convicted felons have run for president before, including from behind bars.

Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said: “It’s hard to believe that we have a former president on the verge of indictment who is still the leading candidate for the Republican Party in 2024. “You might think ( likely) being arrested would be a disqualifying factor in the president’s political activism. But Trump continually surprises people with the insidious and inappropriate behavior he overcomes by making it the victim of a witch hunt.”


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