USA: Schedule open: Waiting for possible charges against Trump

Schedule open: waiting for possible charges against Trump

NYPD police officers set up a cordon in front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. photo

© Bryan Woolston/AP/dpa

In New York, there are metal fences in front of the court, Trump is raging online and Republicans are complaining about the judiciary: the reason is a possible indictment against the ex-president. But so far, the lake is still.

All eyes on Trump: In the USA yesterday there was no announcement of a possible indictment against ex-President Donald Trump and his arrest. Trump had previously brought this day into play and called for protests.

The New York Attorney is investigating the Republican for hush money payments. An indictment in the case seems increasingly likely. According to reports, a competent jury will meet again today – a vote on an indictment is then possible. Trump meanwhile continued to rage against the judiciary and made mood against the responsible district attorney Alvin Bragg.

Did Trump Violate Campaign Laws?

Bragg is investigating the ousted ex-president over hush money payments to actress Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal. Investigators are wondering whether Trump may have violated campaign finance laws by making the payment.

Hush money is not illegal in the US, but the indictment could make Daniels’ $130,000 and McDougal’s $150,000 campaign donations illegal in New York state. Trump sees the procedure as a politically motivated “witch hunt” and predicted yesterday when he would be “arrested”.

It is now completely open when – and also if – there will be an indictment. US media do not rule out that charges could be brought this week. A so-called grand jury votes on this. In the United States, a jury decides whether to indict a case after the prosecutor has presented evidence. It is composed of citizens selected at random from voter records or other public registers. Grand juries are usually involved when it comes to larger and more controversial cases.

Indictment is imminent

However, the grand jury does not act publicly – so it is unclear what happens behind closed doors. What is certain, however, is that the panel has heard a number of witnesses in the case in recent weeks. All signs point to an indictment being imminent. As a new possible date for a vote, today’s Wednesday is now in the room. It is also possible that the jury will then hear other witnesses. The grand jury usually consists of 23 citizens. A simple majority is enough to vote for an impeachment.

The indictment would initially be under lock and key – but it can also be released. In a next step, the prosecutor would inform Trump and his lawyers accordingly about the charges. Experts assume that the public prosecutor would then make an appointment with Trump so that he could voluntarily surrender.

Fingerprints would be taken

Trump’s environment had previously assured that the ex-president would appear in court voluntarily. This would not require a sensational arrest. Trump would then most likely have to appear in New York – there his fingerprints would be taken and photos taken. All of this would happen behind closed doors.

This is usually followed by the reading of the indictment – this is usually public. Trump could then plead “guilty” or “not guilty,” for example. It is considered likely that Trump could go home after such a formal procedure.

The media expect that such an appointment – should there be an indictment – will not be made until next week. However, it can be assumed that Trump or the public prosecutor’s office would make the charges public beforehand. Trump, who is running again for a Republican presidential nomination, is using the current attention surrounding the case to raise funds. He also incites his followers against the judiciary. There is no “crime of any kind,” Trump wrote yesterday on Truth Social, a network he co-founded.

Ex-Vice Pence wants to calm down

Some Republicans had targeted and sharply attacked the responsible district attorney Bragg in the past few days. Security has been tightened around the New York court.

“I would discourage Americans from taking part in protests if the former president is actually going to be impeached,” Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence said yesterday. Trump’s party colleague is also said to have ambitions for the White House. In the past few days, demonstrations had been rather small. Trump’s call for protests, however, brought back memories of the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. At that time he goaded his supporters before they violently entered the Houses of Parliament in Washington.


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