With four potential indictments underway against former president Donald J. Trump, it’s questionable whether or not he will even be eligible for re-election come 2024. This would clear the major roadblock for Ron DeSantis to cruise into the GOP primary spot.
Here’s an outline of those cases and what each would mean.
In perhaps the weakest of all cases against him, Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis has charged Trump and his allies with possible criminal interference in Georgia’s 2020 presidential elections.
Willis’ investigation has been hampered by delays and security concerns. Most recently, the prosecutor filed a motion accusing two defense lawyers of misconduct.
Holly Pierson, one of the defense lawyers stated, “Sadly, the D.A.’s office continues to seem more interested in media attention, trampling on the constitutional rights of innocent citizens and recklessly defaming its perceived opponents, than in the facts, the law or the truth.”
While in January, the Georgia prosecutor claimed the charges against multiple people, including Trump, were “imminent,” and two months ago declared she would announce charges in “coming weeks,” Willis has yet to declare an indictment.
Most recently, she stated any charges would come during the court term that runs from July 11 to September 1.
Hush Money Payments
Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts in Manhattan on April 4th. The charges were all related to bookkeeping fraud to conceal campaign finance violations, a felony crime in New York state under Article 175 of the New York penal law. Such a conviction would carry a sentence of up to four years in jail.
Alvin Bragg, the tough prosecuting D.A., claims that the indictment is “not just about one payment,” referring to the charge accusing Trump of paying porn star, Stormy Daniels $130,000 to prevent her from disclosing an affair she allegedly had with the then reality show star in 2006.
This comes from a man who routinely has reduced felonies to misdemeanors, freeing dangerous criminals back onto the streets of New York City.
The charges have garnered much criticism from both the right and the left, calling them out for exactly what they are: hyperbolic accusations for the sake of political gain and personal notoriety.
The likelihood of these charges sticking is small, demonstrating another baseless tactic from the left to divert Trump’s focus and resources from a successful re-election campaign.
It’s another weak case, despite the New York Times insistence of the opposite.
After the initial uproar around accusations that Trump removed classified documents from the White House after leaving office died down, the excitement has been ratcheted up yet again. A federal judge ordered transcripts of audio recordings from former Trump lawyer M. Evan Corcoran to be given to special counsel Jack Smith who is leading the investigation.
This has renewed Trump opponents’ hope of putting the former president behind bars, an unprecedented move.
Trump’s spokesperson claimed that the order violates the attorney-client privilege and accused the Justice Department of denying Trump a “basic right.”
Furthermore, a statement from Trump’s office claimed the case was weak. “Whenever prosecutors target the attorneys, that’s usually a good indication their underlying case is very weak. If they had a real case, they wouldn’t need to play corrupt games with the Constitution,” the statement said.
Of course none of the allegations against Donald Trump has garnered as much attention or incited as many as the one claiming he encouraged the insurrection at the Capitol building on January 6th, the day to protest the formalized victory of President-elect Joe Biden.
For almost two years now, Trump’s role in the alleged attacks on the Capitol has been under investigation. The final report from The House Select Committee was released at the end of 2022, resulting in no formal charges against the former president.
In March, Republicans countered with an investigation of the investigators. The party created its own committee to launch an inquiry into the Democrat controlled January 6th Committee, to analyze how the panel conducted the investigation. Many claim pertinent information was omitted from the investigation and that there were substantial security failures that day.
The most recent tactic by the Department of Justice includes gathering evidence about whether the former president and his allies solicited donations with claims of election fraud they knew to be false.
Last month, Trump lost an appeal to prevent his former Vice President Mike Pence, a vocal critic of Trump’s behavior, from testifying in the investigation. Trump turned blamed on his once ally for the event.
Will Donald Trump Be Able to Run?
An article in Vanity Fair reports that should Donald Trump be found guilty of all 34 class E felonies from the cases listed above, he could be sentenced to up to 136 years in prison.
As happy as the thought of Trump dying in prison would make some people, the likelihood of that happening is about the same as the odds of dying from COVID-19 – very small. Like COVID, the amount of excitement and attention Trump’s indictments receive are disproportionate to the actual possibility of something catastrophic occurring. All of the prosecutors have been digging for years to find substantial evidence that will hold up in a court of law.
Despite the lack of sound legal foundation for Trump’s accusations, it’s difficult to underestimate the vehemence of the left’s hatred for Trump. Some of the indictments are being timed to occur as Trump will have to campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire in January of next year.
It only takes one guilty verdict to disqualify him from running for the GOP nomination. And one is enough.
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.