Friday, June 9, 2023

Trump Indictment: the first ex-president to be formally charged


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Story and Photo by Jenene Grover

Former President Donald Trump was indicted Thursday by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg for a closed list of over 30 charges.

Trump is the first president to be criminally charged.

“This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history,” responded Trump on Truth Social, his social media platform.

A Manhattan grand jury that began in January consisting of 23 members met Thursday at 1 p.m. CDT. Three hours later, the three lead prosecutors were seen heading to the court clerk’s office to begin filing for indictment. Trump’s lawyers Susan Necheles and Joseph Tacopina confirmed the indictment.

“I was teaching a political science class when one of the students told the class that Former President Trump had been indicted. On its own historically, that had never happened,” said MTSU political science professor Kent Syler.

Trump also criticized Bragg for his work on the case in his Truth Social, statement.

The case itself has not been officially announced and remains under seal. Many questions surround the case both from the public and from officials.

“Until we know what he’s going to be charged with, we really don’t know a great deal. There’s just a lot of very important details we don’t know yet,” said Syler.

There have been various reactions to this news, with some former Trump Organization employees cheering the news, while some lawyers are telling the public to have the opposite reaction.

“The indictment of Donald Trump is no cause for joy. The hard work and conscientiousness of the grand jurors must be respected. Now let truth and justice prevail. No one is above the law,” said trial attorney Clark Brewster on Twitter.

Many dissenting voices have claimed that there was no legal basis for the case and that citizens should be fearful, regardless of their views.

Following the vote, Trump will be arrested and brought before a judge. He will follow the basic process of a felony arrest including the reading of Miranda Rights. However, because this is unprecedented, there may be accommodations made for the former President.

Throughout the case, Trump had a right to testify to the grand jury yet declined to do so.

To cover up a payment of $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016, Trump allegedly falsified records. Michael D. Cohen testified that Trump directed him to make such a payment to Daniels and paid him to conceal the entire thing.

Daniels claimed to have slept with Trump in 2006, first told in 2011 by her agent Gina Rodriguez on a gossip blog to gain traction for her retelling of the original story. It was set to be printed in a magazine but was eventually killed by Cohen. Without gaining any publications’ attention, Daniels denied the story.

In 2016, Daniels once again approached the media with the story without anything to show for it. Trump revealed in a 2016 “Access Hollywood” tape published by the Washington Post describing groping women on a live microphone.

Because of this, Rodriguez approached The National Enquirer. The Enquirer’s editor Dylan Howard promised he would prevent negative stories about Trump from being published during the election. Howard approached Cohen and Daniels’ lawyer, negotiating the $130,000 non-disclosure agreement.

In November 2022, Trump announced his re-election bid for the Republican Presidential nomination. Nothing in the Constitution regarding running for President prevents Trump from doing so even after this charge; he previously said he would continue to run.

However, if he wins the presidency and has any felonies pending, it could cause issues.

Trump originally claimed his arrest would happen March 21 and called for his supporters to protest.Those involved in the case said Trump was never told he would be indicted on that day. Trump’s aides and officials claimed not to have expected this indictment.

Jenene Grover is the government and politics reporter for MTSU Sidelines.

To contact News Editor Kailee Shores and Assistant News Editor Alyssa Williams, email

For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter and Instagram at @mtsusidelines.

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