Trump Indicted for Hush-Money Scheme

By Xavier Batts

Never in 245 years of American history has a former commander-in-chief and leader of the free world been arrested until now. Donald Trump was indicted on 34 counts. College of Southern Nevada professors weigh-in on the impact to the country.

On April 4, Trump was charged on multiple counts of felony indictment for a hush-money scheme to silence adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, and falsification of business records during the 2016 election. Trump entered a plea of not guilty. The indictment is under seal with evidence against him not yet known.

Francis Carleton, CSN professor of social sciences, said, “Historic. Such a thing has never happened before and this is a sign that our democracy is going through some tough times. While we do have the indictment and the statement of facts, we still don’t know all the details of the criminal case that Braggs is bringing. That being said, it is pretty clear that Trump did falsify business records, and this is a crime in New York. And it appears that he did so in pursuit of suppressing damaging information that would otherwise have come out regarding his affair with Stormy Daniels. This turns it into a felony. The best way to avoid criminal charges is to not engage in criminal behavior. This Trump did not do.”

Sondra Cosgrove, professor of social sciences at CSN, said, “As a historian, when I first heard about the indictment, I wasn’t surprised. Most Americans believe that our current political climate is the most polarized and riddled with corruption in our nation’s history. In fact, we have always had political scandals and candidates for office who have done questionable things. So, while this is the first indictment of a former president, it is not the first time an American political figure has been accused of doing something wrong at this level.” 

The next presidential election is heating up with Trump running and the indictment looming, among other legal actions.

According to Kenneth Fernandez, CSN professor of social sciences, “Some worry that these charges could help Trump’s campaign and his political image of an outsider or renegade. However, after Jan. 6, voters during the presidential primary and general election may come to the determination that Trump has so much negative baggage that he is not a safe bet as president. There is a belief that there is no such thing as negative publicity; anything that keeps people talking about Trump might be a benefit. But there comes a tipping point where voters will consider Trump — both old news and bad news — and will support a different candidate.”

Soon there will be preliminary court hearings to set a date for trial. During this time Trump continues to run for the presidency. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that prevents someone facing charges or a conviction from running for the seat. Although, if Trump is found guilty on insurrection charges pertaining to Jan. 6 – a separate legal action pursued by Special Counsel Jack Smith – he would be barred from running.

%d bloggers like this: