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Trump's trials and troubles

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

By Andrew Duval and Adrian Tomaszewski Sept. 28, 2023

Former President Donald Trump stands before a podium, declaring to the judge: “If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.” This claim, made the day after the 2020 United States presidential election, would spiral into a series of legal events that culminated in Trump and 18 allies being charged with several crimes related to their attempts to overturn the election results in Georgia on Aug. 14.

Harry Kang Art

Trump has been battered by four indictments since his departure from the presidency, with Georgia being his most recent, where Trump placed a majority of his attention on changing the official results, claiming hundreds of cases of voter fraud. For Trump’s call to Florida’s governor demanding he “find 11,780 votes” and other attempts to interfere with the 2020 federal election Trump and his allies have been charged with 41 felony counts under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, an act broader than its federal counterpart with past uses including lawsuits against mafia members and Ponzi schemes. The act’s use in the case has been controversial, as it contains broad wording and its maximum sentence is 20 years in prison.

“A conviction against Trump would improve the U.S.’s reputation because it would show the world that the government is willing to prosecute someone as powerful as a former president. It will demonstrate that justice is valued above political power in America,” Senior Matthew Penner said.

Harry Kang Art

Trump had previously been indicted three other times. His first and second indictments were related to his hush-money payments to silence an adult film star and his retention of classified documents after his presidential term ended, respectively. Trump’s third indictment concerns his interference in the 2020 election and his effort to block the peaceful transfer of power. Much of the third indictment centers around the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot and the inflammatory statements made by Trump that seemed to have incited the attack.

Many of Trump’s supporters see the indictments as politically-motivated and an attack on democracy, and they have only become more active in their backing of Trump. For instance, CNN reported that the day after his surrender in Georgia, Trump raised $4.18 million, the most he raised in a single day through his entire campaign.

“Some of these indictments are necessary to preserve democracy in this country because they show that there are consequences to the attacks on our democratic institutions such as the January 6th insurrection. However, the New York and Florida indictments especially seem to be political attacks on the Trump campaign,” said Sophomore Kabir Gupta.

Despite the indictments, the Trump 2024 train is not slowing down—his campaign has already earned $6.4 million from selling photos of his mugshot on merchandise including mugs and shot glasses. On top of that, many of Trump’s supporters view the indictments as a confirmation of him battling a corrupt “deep state” on Capitol Hill.

While some believe that the Trump indictments are a crucial turning point in accountability for politicians—which has historically been lacking—others claim the cases set a framework for abusing the legal system to undemocratically prevent candidates from running for office. As the four proceedings unfurl, they bear the weighty responsibility of establishing an enduring precedent for dispensing justice to those in positions of power.


About the Contributors

Andrew Duval

Sports and Charger Follies page editor

Andrew Duval is a sophomore at Leland High School and is the Sports and Charger Follies Editor for The Charger Account. He loves listening to music and playing with his yellow lab Winston.

Adrian Tomaszewski

staff writer

Adrian Tomaszewski is a junior at Leland High School and is a staff writer for the Charger Account. During his free time, he enjoys swimming, cooking, listening to music, ranting about politics to unsuspecting victims and playing video games.

Harry Kang

Viewpoint page editor and artist

Harry Kang is a junior at Leland High School who works as an artist and the page editor for the Viewpoint page. In his free time, he likes to procrastinate and listen to old Korean music.

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