The Trump Indictments: What can we as students do?

Donald Trump’s mugshot. Courtesy of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.

Alexandra Howard | Staff Writer

Even when you’re a star – or the 45th President of the United States – The Justice System can’t let you get away with anything. 

Americans and the world saw that come to light four times through state and federal indictments in New York, Miami, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

To simplify these legal allegations, they include hush money payments to an adult-film star, taking classified documents from the White House after he left office, inciting violence and attempting to delay the certification of the 2020 presidential election and overriding election results in Georgia.

It’s only been around five months since his first indictment in March. Now, Donald Trump is the first former president in U.S. history to be criminally indicted, take a mugshot and be assigned an inmate number – P01135809 to be exact.

For FIU students who might not be keeping track of the indictment news… You may think these indictments don’t affect you. But these criminal allegations might impact you more than you realize. 

Whether you’re a STEM major or an aspiring artist, you should learn about our nation’s legal system to its fullest extent because you never know when you may need it. This can be if you ever find yourself in a lawsuit or even reporting a crime. All these indictments prove to us, as students, that no one is above the law and should be tried equally. 

Each criminal accusation has a load of baggage that unpacks Trump’s morals and possible abuses of power. 

From a legal perspective, it seems more disastrous for Trump and his team. Not to mention, his future trial in Georgia could affect the outcome of the 2024 presidential election. He’s currently front-running the Grand Old Party 40 points ahead of the other nine candidates.

“​​The indictments made me take a step back and analyze the way the election process works in this country,” said Angel Reyes, a FIU student majoring in history. “I think that this upcoming election is so crucial for everyone. This election will determine so many important local and foreign policies that I think voting is more important than ever.”

In March 2023, Trump was arraigned in New York because of allegations of paying a $130,000 hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Prosecutors claim Trump used the money to weaken the integrity of the 2016 presidential election and charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Three months later, at the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. Courthouse in Downtown Miami, 20 minutes away from FIU, Trump was federally arraigned for hiding over 300 classified national security documents in his Mar-a-Lago estate. Pictures revealed the former president and his aide Walt Nauta stored the classified documents in a bathroom and ballroom. 

CNN later published an exclusive recording of Trump explaining how he stored secret documents for others without declassifying them.

In another federal courthouse, a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol, a grand jury indicted Trump and a co-conspirator for trying to exploit violence for January 6’s insurrection and delay the certification of the 2020 presidential election. 

Lastly, August 14 marked the fourth time Trump was indicted, along with 18 others, with allegations of overturning his 2020 presidential electoral defeat in Georgia. 

This case will even be televised for all to see. We will be able to analyze both sides of the courtroom and decide if he’s guilty or not. 

It can change the minds of Republican voters to see the 77-year-old former president sitting at the defendant chair as Georgia District Attorney Fanni Willis explains her team’s evidence. 

The case gets even more difficult for Trump and his legal team with Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act charges. Those charges are hard to beat, but it gets more tricky under Georgia law since RICO charges are easier to prove. 

Willis has a few successful RICO cases under her belt, with a conviction rate of close to 90 percent. She is attempting to have the trial in March of next year

So, can the man who made lewd comments about women during his stardom and bragged about shooting someone in the middle of 5th Avenue do no wrong? The court of law – and the unofficial jury of American voters – will decide.


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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