Trump Grand Jury Indictment Will Have Unforeseen Consequences

Former president becomes first to face criminal charges

A grand jury indictment of former president Donald Trump is both unprecedented and likely to have unforeseen consequences.

Multiple reports Thursday said Trump had been indicted by a New York grand jury under seal in connection with hush money payments he made to a porn star he had an affair with. It’s the first time a former president has ever been charged in a criminal case.

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In a statement, Trump called the indictment “Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level.” He also played a familiar conspiracy card, saying that “Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who was hand-picked and funded by George Soros, is a disgrace.”

Twitter Sees Strong Responses

The reports, predictably, set off a storm of responses on Twitter with hashtags #TrumpForPrison and #IStandWithTrump both trending.

Political supporters of Trump huffily complained of the weaponization of the justice system, while opponents said it was a somber day for the country.

Lawyers for Trump indicated he is likely to be arraigned on the charges next week.

It wasn’t immediately clear if he would surrender voluntarily, or choose to face arrest.

It’s entirely possible that he would welcome the spectacle of being handcuffed as a way to rile up his supporters.

Trump made blatant appeals to the Jan. 6 insurrectionists in a recent rally in Waco, Texas. They included a video of a song sung by people who had been convicted in connection with the attempt to overthrow the government and block the peaceful transfer of power.

Will Trump Face a Perp Walk?

Also unclear is how the former president will be treated ahead of his arraignment, whether he’ll be fingerprinted and paraded before cameras in a so-called perp walk.

The prosecution of the case, no matter how solid the evidence is, carries unforeseen risks.

Trump was tried twice on impeachment charges, but handily avoided conviction by keeping cowering Republicans from voting against him and risking their political careers.

Rather than attempt to settle and reach a plea deal, Trump may see value in dragging out a lengthy court case that would allow him to maintain media focus on himself and not on other candidates running for the Republican nomination for president in 2024.

The case may the first brought against Trump, but it’s unlikely to be the last, as he faces other investigations including the theft of top secret documents from the White House, and his interference in the Georgia’s election process.

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