What is a grand jury indictment and can he still run for president? As Donald Trump faces arrest on business fraud charges… the 7 most important questions answered
- Trump indicted on March 30 over hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels
- He said about indictment that it will ‘backfire massively’ on President Joe Biden
- READ MORE: Who is Donald Trump accuser Stormy Daniels?
Donald Trump was indicted on March 30, 2023, over hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels following their alleged affair.
Trump responded to his indictment claiming it will ‘backfire massively’ on President Joe Biden. He said the indictment was a ‘political persecution and election interference’.
Trump also repeated his earlier claims that the criminal charges are part of a ‘witch hunt’ cooked up by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg.
‘I believe this witch-hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden,’ he said. ‘The American people realize exactly what the radical left democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it.’
MailOnline answers the most common questions about Trump’s indictment.
Trump will appear before a judge in New York for his first court appearance, known in the US as an arraignment
What is a grand jury and an indictment?
A grand jury is a group of 23 citizens which hears evidence and decides whether a person should be charged.
In the US grand juries, rather than prosecutors, decide on whether to charge somebody after lawyers present evidence.
An indictment is the US equivalent of being formally charged. Donald Trump’s grand jury have been meeting for months.
The bar for indictment is low and the grand jury has to find probable cause, or the balance of probabilities, compared to beyond reasonable doubt for a criminal conviction.
What is set to happen next in the case?
The indictment will be reviewed by a judge and made public in the coming days.
Trump will appear before a judge in New York for his first court appearance, known in the US as an arraignment.
He will be ‘booked’, meaning he will have his photograph taken in the office of the Manhattan District Attorney and have to give his fingerprints.
How long could Trump go to jail for?
While the indictment has not yet been made public, if the charges are as expected he could be facing up to several years in jail.
Will he have to appear in court?
Yes. Most defendants are handcuffed and marched past journalists in what is known as a ‘perp walk’ but Trump will probably avoid this fate.
Trump’s arraignment is expected to be next Tuesday.
Can he still run for president?
Yes. There is no provision in the Constitution that disqualifies somebody if they have been indicted.
If Trump is convicted it is unclear if he could be president as that has never happened before.
In 1920 Eugene Debs ran as a Socialist candidate despite being in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary for speaking out against the draft during the First World War.
He won nearly a million votes but not the election.
Is he the first ex-president to be indicted?
Yes. The only record of a sitting president being arrested was Ulysses S. Grant in 1872 for speeding in his horse-drawn carriage.
Richard Nixon resigned before he was indicted or impeached and was pardoned by Gerald Ford, his successor, for any crimes he may have committed.
Can he be pardoned if he is found guilty?
Only by New York’s governor. Crimes charged in state courts can’t be pardoned by a president, who can only pardon federal crimes.
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