Trump in trouble


Lyla Van Sant

Camille Ng, Staff Writer

Former U.S. President Trump was charged with 34 felony counts on Tuesday, April 4th, before a Manhattan grand jury, in connection with a scheme that directed hush money payments to two women before the 2016 presidential election. The charges primarily consist of falsifying business records in the first degree (charges in the first degree are the most serious kind, and typically receive the harshest punishment.)

The 16-page indictment against Trump was unsealed Tuesday as he became the first former U.S. president arrested on criminal charges. Trump pleaded not guilty on all accounts. 

The indictment says those payments were part of a broader scheme to silence claims by porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, which state that the women had sex with Trump,. Trump wanted to keep their stories from affecting his chances against Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Despite Trump being indicted, convicting or sending him to prison will be challenging, with all charges amounting to a low-level felony. If Trump does get convicted, he will face a maximum sentence of 4 years, though prison time would not be mandatory. 

Even with a guilty verdict, Trump would still be eligible to run for president. The Constitution includes three requirements to run for president.

“A candidate must be at least 35 years old, have been born in the United States or territory, and have resided in the United States for at least 14 years.”

There is no explicit prohibition in the Constitution concerning being indicted or even being convicted. While being convicted of a felony does not prevent people from running for president, it can affect their votes in elections. 

Some of Trump’s advisors have even suggested that legal controversy and the fame that comes from it may create favorable terrain for Trump during the 2024 elections. 

So how do people at Mission feel? Here’s what three different teachers said:

Mr. Stevens, who teaches English, said that while he’s familiar with the indictment he hasn’t been following it very closely. He thinks that the law should be enforced equally, “I believe if you have a structure of law, it has to be followed as closely as it can.”

Ms. Kosoff, a health teacher, is “ready for accountability,” but she isn’t hopeful.

Mr. Ramiller, a science teacher for all grades, said that while his opinion is not a reflection of the school’s opinion, he’s very enthusiastic about the indictment.