Trump to face criminal charges in an unprecedented move in the US
Donald Trump will become the first former US president to face criminal charges after he was indicted in a case involving a 2016 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. The former president is set to appear before a judge in Manhattan on Tuesday, April 4th.
"I am not afraid of what's to come," Trump said in a fundraising email on Friday. For the past two weeks, trump has been taking full advantage of his legal battles to reel up his supporters and raise money as he seeks his party’s nominations to challenge sitting president Joe bidden in the next elections.
According to his campaign, Trump raised over $4 million in the 24 hours following the news that he was required to show up before a Manhattan grand jury.
Trump will also become the first former US president to try and reclaim the presidency following a defeat.
President Bidden has refused to be drawn into the issue after declining to comment on the matter when questioned by reporters. "I'm not going to talk about Trump's indictment,” he said.
Trump on the other hand maintains he is innocent and believes he is being targeted politically.
Trump posted on his social media that Justice Juan Merchan, the judge expected to preside over his case “HATES HIM” and treats the Trump organisation “VICIOUSLY.” It was Merchan who presided over a case last year in which Trump’s real estate company was convicted of tax fraud although Trump was not charged in the case.
Aside from this case, Trump is also under federal criminal investigations in regard to his efforts to overturn his 2020 election defeat and his handling of classified documents after leaving office. Trump also faces a separate investigation for his efforts to overturn his loss in that state.
The streets around the courthouse are expected to be closed and security beefed up ahead of Trump’s appearance at the court to prevent chaos. Trump has previously called upon his supporters to protest his arrest.
A poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos last week revealed that 44% of republicans believe that Trump should drop out of the presidential race if he is indicted.