It is a historical process with immense political explosive force. For the first time ever, prosecutors are indicting an ex-President of the United States. That ex-president is Republican and current presidential candidate Donald Trump. The charges against him from New York also stand out in another way: they are related to delicate allegations against the 76-year-old. It's about alleged hush money payments to the porn actress Stormy Daniels.
Details are not yet known, but the indictment by Manhattan's chief prosecutor Alvin Bragg probably revolves around the payments to Daniels and possibly also to model Karen McDougal of $130,000 and $150,000. Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen transferred this money shortly before the 2016 US presidential election and was then reimbursed by the Trump Organization. Trump emerged victorious from the election and moved into the White House. New York prosecutors accused Cohen in 2018 that the payments were improper campaign contributions because they were intended to prevent Trump from harm before the election. Cohen pleaded guilty at the time and was jailed. Trump denies the allegations.
Now the question is probably whether Trump broke campaign finance laws. As president, he had enjoyed immunity. The leading US media have differing opinions as to whether the indictment of Donald Trump is the right or the wrong step in this particular case.
Los Angeles Times: "Regardless of the outcome of this or any criminal case, Trump has disqualified himself from any consideration as a candidate for the office he has sullied. That is true regardless of the outcome of this criminal case.
To those who believe that the impeachment of a former president in any way threatens the presidency, nothing would threaten the presidency and the nation quite like the election of Trump in 2024. He is a twice-indictee Narcissist whose selfish untruths about a stolen election inspired a terrorist attack on the US Capitol.
Convicted or acquitted, Trump must not return to the White House. The Republican Party and, if necessary, the electorate can prevent this calamity regardless of what the judges and jury decide."
New York Post: "Trump faces investigations that we believe are far more serious: his conduct on January 6 and his pressure on Georgia to find 'votes' for him.
The Stormy Daniels case is a hoax that only convinces America that our legal system is biased and politicized.
That Bragg couldn't see it - or didn't care - shows what a bad prosecutor he is."
New York Times: "The decision to prosecute a former president is a serious task--particularly given the deep national rifts Mr. Trump will inevitably deepen as the 2024 campaign draws near. But the price of not doing so Seeking justice against a leader who may have committed these crimes would be even higher."
Wall Street Journal: "The danger to America is the precedent set by these indictments. Mr. Bragg is breaking a political norm that has stood for 230 years. As soon as a former president-turned-candidate is indicted, some local Republican prosecutor will seek a Making a name for himself by doing the same with a Democrat. US democracy will continue to be abused and damaged. Mr. Bragg, the progressive provincial, is unleashing forces we will all regret."
Washington Post: "Violations of the Campaign Finance Act undermine democracy and deserve to be taken seriously. However, the possible downsides of indicting Trump should also be taken seriously. This lawsuit is bound to become the precedent for every former president, and of course also for any lawsuits against that same ex-President - of which there are plenty.Other ongoing investigations include investigations by the Justice Department into (storming of the US Capitol on) January 6, 2021 and classified documents found in (Trump's mansion) Mar-a -Lago were discovered (...). A failure of the indictment because of the hush money payment could endanger them all and give Trump ammunition for his 'witch hunt' allegations (...). This indictment has to be watertight. Otherwise it's worth it don't bother pursuing them any further."
Quellen: DPA, "Los Angeles Times", "New York Post", "New York Times", "Wall Street Journal", "Washington Post".