The former US leader is expected to be fingerprinted and have his mugshot taken shortly.
Former US President Donald Trump has been ordered to face criminal charges over a $130,000 “hush money” payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.
With this decision, Trump became the first president in American history to face criminal charges.
The decision against Trump means that the former US leader will appear before the court and testify. The trial of Trump, who plans to run in the November 2024 elections, is expected to take place under intense public and media attention.
In some cases, the US judiciary prefers to keep the charges against a defendant secret until the first hearing. The formal charges against Trump have similarly not yet been made public.
The first hearing generally serves as an introduction to the proceedings, with issues such as the charges against the accused, the conditions of release and the rights of the accused.
However, it can take months for the trial to begin. Even if the two sides try to speed up the process, it is estimated that it could take up to 2024 for the trial to begin.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which is leading the investigation, has reportedly contacted Trump’s lawyers and the former US leader will appear in court of his own accord. Former US President Donald Trump is expected to make his first court appearance on Tuesday, CNN and the New York Times reported, citing multiple sources.
What is Trump accused of?
Although the exact charges have not yet been officially announced, Trump’s criminal trial will center on a $130,000 hush money payment made to former porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016.
The $130,000 payment was allegedly made to ensure that Daniels remained silent about her affair with Trump.
Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen admitted to making payments to Daniels on Trump’s behalf in 2016. The money Trump sent to Cohen was recorded as legal fees.
In April 2018, Trump said he was unaware of the payment, but Cohen showed the US Congress photos of the checks with Trump’s signature on them.
Under New York law, misrepresenting payments on corporate records is considered a simple misdemeanor, which also qualifies as a misdemeanor. However, if the crime is committed with the intent to facilitate a second offense, it becomes a felony.
In Trump’s case, this second offense is a violation of election campaign laws. According to the allegations, Trump made these payments to prevent voters from learning about his relationship with Daniels. The biggest proof of this is that the payment to Daniels was made just days before the 2016 election.
Will Trump go to prison?
According to many US legal experts, the answer is no. There is no reason for the former US President, who is expected to appear in court of his own accord, to be sent to prison or handcuffed.
But Trump’s trial will be no different from any other trial. This means that Trump will be fingerprinted and have his mugshot taken when he arrives in court for his first hearing.
So even if Trump doesn’t go to jail, it is likely to be the first time we will see a US president having his mugshot taken. But under New York law, which changed in 2019, this photo cannot be officially published.
If Trump is elected president while on trial, it is unclear how the legal procedures would work. If Trump is convicted, there are constitutional questions to be answered about whether a court can save an elected federal executive from going to prison.
Will Trump be able to run in the 2024 elections?
Even if Trump is tried and convicted, this does not prevent him from running for president. The US Constitution does not stipulate any other requirements to run for president other than being born in the US, being at least 35 years old and living in the US for at least 14 years.
Since the court is not expected to issue a house arrest or travel ban, it is assessed that the trial will not physically affect Trump’s election campaign.
However, it is not difficult to foresee that the trial process will put Trump in a difficult situation and wear him down politically. Nevertheless, it is possible to say that Trump has been using the trial process to fire up his supporters for several weeks. The former US president called the trial “politically motivated” and referred to the prosecutor Alvin L. Bragg as a “racist” and an “animal”.
The trial process is expected to be one of the most talked about issues during the election period.