In 2024 the United States will vote to elect its 47th president. The current president, Joe Biden has said he plans to seek re-election, while the former president, Donald Trump has already declared his intentions, even while facing legal battles.
On March 30th, Former President Donald Trump was indicted for 34 felony counts for falsifying business records. The media in America and around the world have been busy covering every detail of the story. Some of the coverage appears to be supporting the charges, while others seem to question it.
According to Judge Juan Merchan who is handling the case, the trials could start in January 2024.
It is important to note that the indictment will not prevent Trump from running for office in the 2024 elections. Trump faces other investigations on elections interference, the January 6th US Capitol attack, and his handling of classified documents.
Now if there is evidence to back the crimes, then there should be a prosecution. In good faith, these kinds of investigations and prosecutions should happen to all who are alleged to have committed crimes, from powerful individuals to regular people.
“No one is above the law, not even a former president” Senator Elizabeth Warren stated after the indictment was announced.
Coverage by an African Media
The Vanguard’s Azu Ishiekwene wrote about Trump’s trial and highlighted the former president’s woes and records. The records include the first president to be indicted and also the first to be impeached twice. The article notes that Trump faces 34 counts of criminal conduct. The writer however argues that the trial doesn’t make America special. Ishiekwene says technically the first president to be arrested was Ulysses Grant, 151 years ago in 1872.
The article also highlights similar scenarios in African countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, and Senegal where former presidents have faced criminal charges in court and in front of the world.
A key takeaway from the article is how Ishiekwene argues and juxtaposes Trump’s handling of classified documents with President Joe Biden, who he said had classified documents from the time he was vice president under President Barack Obama. One can argue that the charges come just about a year before the elections, which can be deduced as efforts to stop the opposition candidate.
No One Above the Law. Really?
A look into the case can portray two hypotheses, one is that in America no one is above the law. Or, is the indictment of Trump a politically motivated indictment? If no one is above the law as Senator Warren claims, why have there been no prosecutions of the Jeffery Epstein list, or guests of the Island?
Further, it seems every president has had a number of crimes and violations, including former President Obama, and former first lady Hilary Clinton, among others. If you add to all of this, there was the shocking 2020 congressional insider trading scandal. If the United States is intent on cleaning its house, there should be efforts to address all political issues, including tax evasion by high-flying politicians and business people.
If the law is to take its course, then by now there should be numerous high-profile prosecutions in America. Political crimes against powerful people in both parties should occur or the result will be political tit for tat.
The Trump trial is of significance to America, but the question of the motivation for charges remains. While there isn’t an ideal time to press charges, it’s been three years since the current administration took office. Why weren’t these charges pressed earlier?
Additionally, previous leaders like former President George W. Bush committed war crimes, yet faced no criminal charges. Trump has been indicted and could be charged with other crimes. The question remains if the Trump indictment is justified or if this is a politically motivated justice. If it is truly justice, could we or would we see more high-profile arrests in America in the future?