A decision on whether to indict former President Donald Trump isn't expected this week, despite his prediction last weekend.
The Details: On Saturday, Trump posted on Truth Social that he would be arrested on Tuesday, and called for protests. Tuesday came and went without an arrest, but reports indicate an indictment may be imminent as a Manhattan grand jury weights evidence from an investigation conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney's office.
A Wednesday meeting of the jury was cancelled, and with the jury not expected to discuss the matter Thursday, any action in the case won't happen until next week at the earliest.
Potential Charges: The potential charges involve $130,000 in hush money payments made by Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to adult film actress Stormy Daniels at Trump's request. The payments, which happened days before the 2016 election, were allegedly to keep Daniels silent about an alleged affair she had with Trump in 2006. Trump denies the affair.
Hush money payments are not illegal, but reports suggest the Manhattan DA is focusing on reimbursement payments Trump paid Cohen that were allegedly filed as campaign expenses, which would constitute a campaign finance violation.
The Response: Leading Republicans have labeled the potential indictment as political prosecution. Former Vice President Mike Pence said a Trump indictment is "not what the American people want to see." House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called on the House Judiciary Committee to investigate if federal funds were used to conduct the investigation.
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg pushed back on the criticism, and a spokesperson for Bragg said the DA will "not be intimidated by attempts to undermine the justice process."
How The Media Covered It: Some left-rated voices compared Trump's call for protests to his statements in the lead up to the January 6 Capitol riot, claiming Trump was calling for unrest to disrupt the justice process. Some right-rated sources focused more on the delays in jury meetings; other highlighted Bragg's connections to liberal donor George Soros as evidence the justice system was being weaponized against Trump.
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OPINION FROM THE CENTER: Trump-ism is not an aberration for the GOP, but rather an indicator of the party’s long-term trajectory.
Snippets from the Left
"Before the January 6 attack, Trump’s call for 'protests' could be seen as an attempt to feed his ego by urging supporters to attend his rallies. In a post-January 6 America, however, it could be viewed as a potential attempt to replicate the insurrection. But this time, the desperate Trump wants his supporters to protect him from being held accountable for potential crimes."
Donald Trump has committed a lot of shady acts. This is the wrong one to indict him on.
USA Today (opinion)
"Today it seems we’re coming down from our peak anxiety, with Americans craving normalcy after years of fear and dread. If the American justice system is going to again poke that bear, it had better do so with reluctance and with a powerful case against a man who only a few years ago won 74 million votes."
Snippets from the Center
"While Trump was not arrested Tuesday as previously expected, his campaign sent scores of emails and communications to his supporters over the weekend seeking to rile up voters about the arrest, with a prompt to donate clearly listed at the end of each email."
"US intelligence officials have detected an uptick in online threats against legal and government officials since Mr Trump wrote online on Saturday that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday. Most of the threats were against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the man widely expected to file charges against Mr Trump."
Snippets from the Right
"Trump's support may surge or consolidate as a consequence -- at least for awhile -- bolstering his standing in the 2024 primary race. Democrats have not been shy about admitting or telegraphing their desire to run against Trump again, so in that context, a Trump indictment and arrest might be seen as something of a win-win, from their perspective."
"The DA invented his case against Trump by taking an alleged misdemeanor business records violation and supercharging it into a felony by citing an imagined second crime arising out of a supposed campaign finance violation. The novelty of such a charge is exceeded only by its absurdity."