Former President Donald Trump was indicted Thursday on charges stemming from his alleged “hush money” payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, an unprecedented event for a former president that will lead to him being arraigned in court next week—but not held in custody or being forced to end to his presidential campaign.
When Will Trump Surrender? After being indicted by the grand jury on Thursday, Trump is expected to turn himself in to authorities in Manhattan on Tuesday, his attorney Susan R. Necheles told the New York Times.
What Has Trump Been Indicted For? Trump has reportedly been indicted on more than 30 counts “related to business fraud,” CNN reports, and is expected to be indicted for falsifying business records tied to the hush money payments to Daniels—as he allegedly reimbursed ex-attorney Michael Cohen for paying Daniels through the Trump Organization, labeling the charges as “legal fees”—which can be a felony in New York if they were falsified to cover up a crime.
Could He Go To Prison? The expected charges against Trump could carry a prison sentence of up to four years if he’s convicted.
When Will We See The Indictment? The indictment is now filed under seal, and it won’t be made public until Trump’s arraignment in court unless the Manhattan district attorney makes it available earlier.
What Happens If Trump Doesn’t Voluntarily Surrender? If Trump doesn’t voluntarily surrender as expected and is still at his home in Florida at Mar-A-Lago, he would have to be extradited, which would either be approved by a judge or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), Trump’s main rival for the 2024 presidential nomination.
Could DeSantis Block Trump From Being Arrested? Though DeSantis said on Twitter Thursday he would not help with an extradition request, experts cited by Insider note that while the governor could possibly delay Trump’s extradition, his approval is really an administrative formality, and he wouldn’t be able to totally stop the ex-president from being charged.
What Happens Once Trump’s Taken Into Custody? Trump will likely be booked at the Manhattan DA’s office, where he’ll have his fingerprints and mugshot taken and have his DNA and other information taken before he’s formally arraigned and appears in court to plead guilty or not guilty.
Will Trump Be Handcuffed? While Trump has reportedly expressed interest in making his arrest into a “spectacle,” it’s not likely Trump will do the traditional “perp walk” before he’s arraigned in handcuffs, experts cited by Insider speculated, given the optics of handcuffing a former president—which could play into Trump’s claims that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is politically biased against him—and potential security concerns.
Will Trump Be Held In Custody? Trump is almost certain to be immediately released once he’s arraigned, particularly under new bail rules in New York that allow people who are indicted on misdemeanor charges or non-violent felonies to be released on their own recognizance without bail unless they’re deemed to be a flight risk.
When Could Trump Be Convicted? Manhattan criminal cases typically take more than a year to go to trial, experts cited by Reuters note, so Trump’s trial likely wouldn’t be for a while—possibly until the 2024 election season is well underway, or even after the election takes place, which Reuters notes would be uncharted legal territory if Trump were tried on state charges as president or president-elect.
Will He Be Convicted? It’s still hard to speculate on the case before the indictment’s been released, but legal experts have cast some doubt on the legal theory that prosecutors are expected to use and other aspects of the case, such as relying on Cohen as a witness when he’s been convicted of making false statements in the past—and openly has an axe to grind against Trump—and potential issues with the statute of limitations in the case.
Will The Indictment Affect Trump’s 2024 Run? Being indicted or even convicted wouldn’t stop Trump from becoming president on its own, as legal experts have noted there are no restrictions in the Constitution that bar people from becoming president if they’ve been indicted—though if Trump becomes a convicted felon, he could face restrictions on being able to vote for himself.
Can He Still Be Indicted In Other Investigations? Yes, the charges in Manhattan will not stop prosecutors in Georgia or the Justice Department from bringing other charges against Trump in separate investigations—though Bloomberg notes charges in multiple cases may slow down court proceedings and stretch any trials further into the 2024 election season.
What We Don’t Know
Trump is the first former president in U.S. history to be criminally charged, so there’s still a lot of uncertainty about how the process will play out and how any charges against him could be handled differently from typical criminal prosecutions. It also remains to be seen whether the Manhattan charges will be just the first in a series of charges Trump will face, as the former president also remains under investigation in Georgia for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and by the Justice Department in two investigations related to the 2020 election and him bringing White House documents back to Mar-A-Lago.
Trump has railed against his indictment, calling it “Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history” in a statement Thursday. “The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump,’ but now they’ve done the unthinkable — indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant Election Interference,” Trump said.
The Manhattan DA’s office has been investigating Trump and the Trump Organization’s finances since 2019. The investigation was initially focused on the hush money payments to Daniels, which were made ahead of Trump’s 2016 election to cover up her alleged affair with the then-candidate, but prosecutors later put that to the side and pursued a broader inquiry into the Trump Organization’s finances. That led to the company and former CFO Allen Weisselberg being indicted and ultimately found guilty of criminal tax fraud. No criminal charges were brought against Trump directly for those crimes, however, and while prosecutors initially appeared to shelve their criminal case against the ex-president, the New York Times reported in November that DA Bragg had revived the investigation into Trump and was now focused again on the Daniels payments, which Trump allegedly reimbursed Cohen for after he was already in the White House. Speculation began that Trump’s indictment was imminent a few weeks ago, with Trump claiming without evidence that he was going to be arrested on March 21. While that didn’t come to pass and the grand jury initially appeared to be pausing its work on the investigation, reports emerged Thursday that the jury had voted for Trump’s indictment.
Trump Indicted By Manhattan Grand Jury—Arraignment Expected Tuesday On Over 30 Charges, Reports Say (Forbes)
Trump Reportedly Wants To Turn His Arrest Into A ‘Spectacle’—Complete With Handcuffs And Perp Walk (Forbes)
Trump Indictment: Republicans Including Pence, DeSantis, McCarthy And Don Jr. Rage Against Criminal Charges (Forbes)
Inside the Payoff to a Porn Star That Could Lead to Trump’s Indictment (New York Times)
One thought on “Trump Indicted In Manhattan—Here’s What Will Happen Next (Yes, He’ll Probably Get A Mugshot) ~ March 31, 2023”
Something else. DO NOT GO TO NYC. The Ds would like nothing better than another J6 type arrest/jail spectacle only showing it on tv a few thousand times.