A total of 34 felony counts have been filed against Trump for falsifying records, marking the first time in history a former president surrendered to law enforcement and was placed under arrest.
Donald Trump’s recent arrest marks the first time in history that a former president surrendered to law enforcement and was placed under arrest.
The indictment revealed that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Trump with 34 felony counts for falsifying New York business records in an attempt to hide damaging information and unlawful activity prior to the 2016 election.
Trump pleaded not guilty to these charges, the majority of which involved hush money payments. The main focus of this case is on $130,000 in payments that Trump’s then-fixer Michael Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Along with this, prosecutors outlined a $30,000 payment to a former Trump Tower doorman “who claimed to have a story about a child Trump had out of wedlock.” They also referenced a payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal of $150,000 to silence her about an alleged affair before the 2016 election.
Hush money is not illegal under state law, but Bragg is claiming Trump falsified business records by hiding monthly reimbursement payments he made to Cohen as checks for legal services.
Whether or not Trump is found guilty of these charges, the larger question is what impact his arrest will have on his prospects for the upcoming 2024 presidential election.
Dr. Jeffrey Hockett, political science professor at The University of Tulsa, claims that while his indictment is unlikely to hurt him during his nomination process, it may damage him during the general election.
“Primaries tend to attract the most ideologically motivated voters, and in Trump’s case, those individuals are likely to regard his prosecution as illegitimate. By contrast, independent voters who previously supported Trump will be more likely to view his legal jeopardy in New York (and possibly in several other jurisdictions) as a liability. However, it is worth noting that those working on Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign must also worry about other issues that may work even more strongly against their candidate. I’m thinking, in particular, about the curtailment of abortion rights and the expansion of gun rights.”
Dr. Matt Hindman, also a political science professor at The University of Tulsa, similarly claims the indictment may help Trump secure his 2024 nomination.
“So far, there isn’t a strong reason one way or another to think that Trump’s indictment will have a major impact on the campaign. Polls show majority support for the indictment among all Americans, though these numbers fall rather predictably along lines of whether Americans do or don’t approve of Trump. (In other words, those who supported Trump before continue to do so, while those who opposed him before continue to do so.)
This indictment may only be the beginning of legal troubles for former President Trump, as there are other potential criminal indictments awaiting him in Georgia (because of his meddling in the 2020 election) and at the federal level (because of mishandling of classified documents as well as his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection). Those various legal problems may all add up to stronger opposition to his campaign. If he’s convicted, it may complicate his ability to serve as president if, for instance, he faces prison time. In the short term, though, it’s keeping his name in the news.
While there are far more questions than answers as to how all of this impacts Trump’s campaign for president, one thing that does seem clear is that his legal woes seem to be helping him among Republicans. In short, Trump’s indictment may not help him win in November 2024, but they seem to be helping him in his quest to secure the 2024 Republican nomination.”
Overall we can not know the impact of Trump’s indictment on his 2024 election prospects in the status quo. We do know the amount of coverage it is giving Trump will likely help him secure his 2024 nomination.