Trump’s Last Stand?

Former President Donald Trump faces possible criminal charges from a Manhattan court for hush money payments to Stormy Daniels in order to stifle allegations of an extramarital affair with the adult film star.

Across the nation, pro-Trump sentiments akin to “Make America Great Again” can be heard echoing from community to community. However, Trump’s plan to pick up the presidency in 2024 is being muddled by current criminal charges for falsifying business records to keep alleged affairs of the former president under wraps. This conviction could be historic for a U.S. President, but a criminal court will have the ultimate say in the fate of this memorable U.S. figure.

Former President Donald Trump has claimed that the Manhattan District Attorney has been politically motivated to indict him (Credit: NY Times).

The indictment stems from a possible affair that the former president allegedly had in 2016 with adult film star Stormy Daniels. Trump allegedly had his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pay upwards of $130,000 in hush money to keep the 2006 affair out of the public eye. 

Cohen pleaded guilty to a federal charge for paying this hush money under the order of Trump in 2018. Cohen claims that the former president called for the hush money payment for the “principal purpose of influencing” the 2016 presidential election.

“Personally, I don’t think it’s right for a candidate to run for any [type of] political office in the U.S. when they are under investigation, especially when their court proceedings seem [to be] around the corner. For the sake of the public, that person should not [be] involved in an election…and that goes for Mr. Trump as well,” said sophomore Youngjun Chang.

Aside from the morally dubious actions of Trump in this alleged affair, the plausible criminality of Trump’s actions transpired when Trump’s company had repaid Cohen for these hush money payments as “legal fees.” This prompted Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to investigate the former president for felony falsification of business records.

Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to paying hush money to Daniels under the order of former President Trump (Credit: The Atlantic).

“Although Trump probably should be charged, in my opinion, because of the morally questionable behavior he exhibited with U.S. legal records, it can’t really be said what will happen with this grand jury…Trump’s political career and the current political polarization due to his plan to run in 2024 can set a roadblock in the way of those who want to uncover the truth,” said sophomore Justin Chen.

These accusations were set forth in front of a Manhattan grand jury earlier this week at the discretion of the prosecution. The former president was indicted on more than 30 accounts related to business fraud, and had some choice words to say about the case, saying, “I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden. The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it. So our Movement, and our Party — united and strong — will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat Joe Biden, and we are going to throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Adult film star Stormy Daniels accuses former President Trump of paying her hush money to keep their 2016 affair under wraps (Credit: NY Post).

The real impact of this indictment comes in the form of negative press for Trump for his 2024 presidential election campaign. According to a Quinnipiac University national poll released recently, 57% of Americans believe that criminal charges should disqualify the former president from running again. Trump’s defense and refutation of these allegations are crucial in allowing Trump to retain his future voters for 2024.

Historically, Trump is the first former president to be criminally indicted. The allegations against the former president rival the press coverage of scandals such as Watergate, and with one of the most polarizing presidential elections coming up in 2024, the outcome of this criminal case can mean a mix-up for the GOP. 

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gets a standing ovation when defending former President Trump (Credit:

In fact, GOP representatives have sided with the former president and attacked the Manhattan district attorney for indicting Trump, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senator Ted Cruz, who claimed that this “completely unprecedented” indictment was a “catastrophic escalation in the weaponization of the justice system.” The GOP has defended Trump on many criminal proceedings, including those of the Trump Organization being convicted of multiple charges of tax fraud in December. These disputes have not extended to the former president’s criminal record, as Trump has avoided private conflicts through the Trump Organization and has allegedly paid himself out of trouble, according to CNN.

 “I think Trump will be convicted considering that he didn’t exactly have a good reputation in the political world while being a president, and [falsifying business records] is definitely illegal,” said sophomore James Zhou.

Trump supporters and antagonizers alike will be closely following this case for the coming months, but one thing is for certain: this trial will be a defining moment for Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign’s outlook, and a major factor in the decisions of millions of Americans when voting next year.