Former President Trump indicted, local expert discusses aftermath
(WGGB/WSHM) - A Manhattan grand jury has indicted former President Donald Trump on criminal charges.
Former President Donald Trump is not the first president to face a scandal, but Thursday’s indictment marks the first time in history a current or former president will face criminal charges.
“What happens if the former president goes to jail?” said Professor John Baick.
Former president Donald Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on Thursday in connection with his alleged role in a hush money payment scheme that involved paying adult film star, Stormy Daniels, $130,000.
This marks the first time in American history that a current or former president will face criminal charges.
Western Mass News brought our questions to John Baick, who is a history professor at Western New England University.
“The charges against the former president are very serious, not just for his own personal liberty, his own life, his own future,” said Baick. “But also, for the very nature of American law. It’s the idea that anyone, everyone, has to be held to a certain standard.”
Baick said the former president was able to avoid litigation while in office. But despite these charges, trump’s road to the white house is still possible.
“We are facing the real possibility, unlike as it sounds, of a white ‘house arrest’,” said Baick.
Baick said even if Trump is found guilty, that alone cannot stop him from running in the 2024 presidential election.
“He can be president from jail,” said Baick. “Just because you are found guilty of a felony doesn’t mean you can’t run for the presidency.”
Trump is not the first president to face the threat of criminal charges.
Richard Nixon also faced possible legal trouble for his involvement in Watergate in the 1970s. However, the former president was pardoned by his successor, Gerald Ford.
Baick also told us if trump is found guilty, he could lose a lot of his basic rights including his ability to sit on a jury or vote.
“It is strange that someone who is found guilty of a crime would then be the enforcer of laws at a national level, but our system allows for that,” said Baick.
Baick explained this process could take months or even years to fully play out. In the meantime, former President Trump maintains his innocence, calling the indictment ‘political persecution,’ in a statement.
Copyright 2023. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.