Donald Trump has been indicted. But what do we actually know about the case against him? What will the charges be? Is there any legal precedent for the prosecution? What happens when he’s arrested? Could he run for office from prison? How does this change the Republican presidential race? What about all those other investigations proceeding against Trump, in Georgia and D.C.? Is this indictment good for Donald Trump’s presidential hopes in an underrated way or the beginning of a bigger downfall? Derek answers your burning questions to the best of his ability.
In the following excerpt, Derek discusses why the indictment of Donald Trump feels surreal.
Derek Thompson: For the first time in American history, a former president has been indicted on criminal charges. His name is Donald Trump. This is a historic and fairly surreal moment. Trump has, of course, for years, Houdinied the American legal system so many times you could be forgiven for saying, of his current legal troubles, “This is just another boy who cried indictment,” right? The morbid joke of the last seven, eight years has been that every few months the left will get incredibly excited about some new possible criminal charge and say, “Aha. I’d love to see Donald Trump slip out of this one,” only for Donald Trump to very much get out of that one.
This is a man who has been under criminal investigation somewhat routinely since the 1970s. Since the 1970s. That is half a century of Charlie Brown lining up over the legal football just to have Lucy yank it away over and over and over again. So what I wanted to do here was to break down the way that I’m thinking about this indictment, its implications, and the next step. I want to ask and do my best to answer eight burning questions about this historic and frankly surreal indictment.
Host: Derek Thompson
Producer: Devon Manze