After the indictment of Donald Trump in the United States, what will happen now?

Former President Donald Trump was charged with criminal charges on Thursday March 30 by a New York State court, a historic first that is only the first step in a legal journey that could last a long time but should not hamper the billionaire’s presidential ambitions.

• Charges still unknown

New York justice opened an investigation in 2018 into a $130,000 payment made to pornographic actress Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election to conceal an alleged extramarital relationship with Donald Trump. The sum had not been reported in the Republican candidate’s campaign accounts in violation of state election laws, and recorded as “legal fees” in the accounts of his company, headquartered in New York.

In January, the Manhattan Democratic prosecutor Alvin Bragg had entrusted this case to a grand jury composed of citizens drawn by lot. Several witnesses had been heard, but Donald Trump had refused to speak in mid-March, calling, at the same time, his supporters to demonstrate against his next “arrest”.

The grand jury finally adopted an indictment on Thursday, the charges of which have not been made public.

• A face-to-face with justice in the coming days

Prosecutors contacted Donald Trump's lawyers on Thursday evening to set the date on which he will appear in court in New York to be formally notified of his indictment. If he refused, he could be arrested and he would then have to "extradite him" from Florida, where he lives, to New York, each state having its own legal system.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Twitter that he wouldn't be very cooperative, even though the Constitution bars him from opposing his transfer.

According to the American media, Donald Trump should however agree to present himself before the New York justice, probably at the beginning of next week. The charges against him will be read, explains NBC News, which specifies that, given the media coverage of the case, the presence of cameras may be requested by the American media, but the decision will be up to the judge.

Donald Trump "will be photographed, his fingerprints will be recorded and Trump will be presented to a judge who will ask him what he intends to plead: he will definitely say 'not guilty'"according to Carl Tobias, professor of law at the University of Richmond, Virginia, with AFP.

• Three possible scenarios

It is likely that Donald Trump's lawyers will engage in a legal guerrilla warfare to try to have his indictment invalidated, perhaps by arguing that the investigation was incriminating or a formality defect. If they fail to do so, the normal course of justice provides for three scenarios after an indictment.

In the first, charges can be dropped. This is relatively frequent and perhaps particularly linked to the arrival of a new prosecutor, but rather unlikely in Donald Trump's case, given its impact.

In the second, the accused can make an agreement with the prosecutors and agree to plead guilty to avoid a trial and obtain a lighter sentence. It is even less likely, Donald Trump repeating at will that he did nothing wrong.

Finally, justice can organize a trial, but it must first respect several procedures, with various preliminary hearings. Again, it is likely that Donald Trump's lawyers will use all possible levers to delay this deadline. In this case, the case could potentially last " long time "points out NBC.

• The race for the White House still possible for Trump

In theory, the charges of falsifying business documents provide for up to 4 years in prison, according to the American media. But this indictment should not for the time being hinder the presidential aspirations of Donald Trump, who has already declared himself a candidate for the 2024 election. any position and elected. The Constitution provides only one exception to the exercise of an official function: having participated in a « insurrection » or to a "rebellion" against the United States.

Donald Trump, who launched last November in the presidential race of 2024, is the subject of a federal justice investigation for his role in the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. But no charge has not been held against him at this stage.

Source : Nouvelobs

Share this article:

Leave a Reply

most popular