Donald Trump’s Indictment: Is It About Time?

Lea Flavier

Love him or hate him, the great grip and influence of the former United States president, Donald Trump, on his supporters and critics alike is undeniable. Today, he faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud, and more prominently, the exposure of his alleged affair with adult film star, Stormy Daniels. Trump is the first U.S. president to ever face criminal charges, especially in the midst of his hopes of reelection, creating an infallible mark on the country’s history. Is his case truly as bad as the media makes it seem?

According to the official documents regarding Trump’s indictment, the former president is charged with 34 identical E felony counts, which are considered the lowest class of felony in the state of New York. The main event that caused a stir within the political world is the alleged falsification of business records related to his purported hush money payment to Daniels who claims that it was to keep her quiet from telling people of their sexual liaison. Many of the counts that follow would be based on this affair, stretching on continuously to its very extent.

Trump’s case garnered many mixed reactions, but the question is – what does this say primarily legally and politically? While a majority of Americans agree with the Manhattan grand jury’s decision, many political commentators from both spectrums bring up the topic of politicizing criminal justice. Jonathan Turley from Fox News believes that lawyers and legal savants who are inclined to favor the indictment not only ignore the disruption of the legal system’s integrity but also celebrate it. Ross Douthat believes that Trump’s supporters are primed to believe that he’s a persecuted martyr figure, and his primary voters will respond to such a persecution.

Alvin Bragg’s litigation against Trump is embarrassingly weak, and what Jed Shugerman, a Fordham and Boston University Law Professor says, has minimal legal and jurisdictional basis that it would have been immediately dismissed by a state judge. So is this about the crime or is it about the person? However unsatisfactory his term is to many people and myself, Donald Trump’s unprecedented criminal case is a clear attack on his political influence. It is a shame it is celebrated by many professionals and common people alike, since its entirety is so clearly motivated by politics. In reality, is the idea of Trump behind bars, especially for a class E felony truly realistic? As a billionaire with a myriad of resources and the top lawyers to back him up, Bragg’s indictment might just create the opposite effect from the goal he was striving for.