Guilty verdict in E. Jean Carroll sexual assault case: Could this be the end for Trump? – Screen Shot
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Guilty verdict in E. Jean Carroll sexual assault case: Could this be the end for Trump?

On Tuesday 9 May 2023, a jury found former US President Donald Trump guilty for the defamation and sexual assault of American columnist E. Jean Carroll. The jurors deliberated for a mere three hours before conclusively deciding that Trump was liable, not for rape but definitely for sexual assault.

And while the only penalty the business tycoon and fraud will face is financial, $5 million in punitive damages to be specific, those of us with half a conscience breathed a sigh of relief and contentedness yesterday, after realising that for once in his life, Trump was finally going to be held accountable for his actions.

For those of you unfamiliar with the case, the journalist first sued the former President in 2022, after New York passed legislation following the #MeToo movement which gave adult victims of sexual assault a window of one year to sue their assailants in cases where the statute of limitations has expired.

The assault which Carroll was seeking damages for occurred 27 years ago, in 1996 in a department store, as reported by The Guardian. Carroll stated that Trump cornered her in a dressing room and raped her.

The former Elle columnist also sued Trump on defamation grounds. When Carroll first went public with the allegations in 2019, Trump pursued an explicit and highly personal smear campaign, deeming Carroll a liar, insisting he didn’t know her and proceeding to damage her reputation. During a pre-trial deposition, Trump also stated that Carroll “wouldn’t be my type in any way, shape, or form.” Presumably, that was his attempt at an adequate defence position? Not sure what else I expected.

In a written statement addressing her victory, Carroll noted: “Today, the world finally knows the truth. This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed.” Trump’s legal team have stated that they plan to appeal the decision.

Will this result impact Donald Trump’s 2024 election run?

Now that the jury has officially found Trump guilty, it’s important to consider what the future holds for the former The Apprentice host. Realistically, this civil case won’t inherently impact Trump’s goals of running once again for president in 2024. Trump hasn’t been charged with any criminal convictions and so, as the constitution states, he’s still fully eligible to run for the presidency.

According to recent polls, Trump’s reach may be slightly narrower than it was in 2016 when he first ran for president, however those who’re still donning MAGA hats and hoarding guns in their basements are as loyal as ever. In a hypothetical match of Trump versus current commander-in-chief Joe Biden,  93 per cent of polled voters who supported Trump in 2020 approve of the job he did as president. What’s more, 45 per cent stated that they are more excited about voting for him in 2024 than they were last time. Scary stuff.

Will this guilty verdict influence the other 5 major investigations Donald Trump is facing?

As some of you may remember, Trump was officially arraigned in April—making him the first former president to ever face criminal charges. Clearly a fan of firsts this one with the Carroll civil case also making him the first former president to ever be legally found guilty of sexual assault. So, with this indictment in the works and the recent civil case verdict, is Trump officially about to be taken down once and for all?

Some of the most damaging investigations Trump is facing, aside from the ongoing Manhattan criminal case involving porn star Stormy Daniels, include: a classified documents inquiry, a New York State civil inquiry which concerns Trump overvaluing his assets, a Georgia criminal inquiry involving whether or not the politician interfered with the 2020 presidential election results in the Southeastern state and a final investigation involving Trump’s role in the 6 January Capitol riots and insurrection. In short, the man is going to be pretty booked up this year.

While it’s not fully known whether or not the fact that Trump has been officially found guilty of sexual assault will ultimately impact the other cases he faces, it’s important to note how historically significant this case has been. When it comes to the court of public opinion, Trump supporters have notoriously strong stomachs, so the only way we can finally put a stop to his nonsense is by getting him behind bars.

A number of the investigations facing Trump have so far been predominantly symbolic, ways in which to embarrass him publicly and maybe encourage the Republican establishment to take a firmer stance in distancing themselves from him. But, perhaps these recent revelations will be the smoking gun US prosecutors need to once and for all jumpstart a new era of American democracy and diplomacy. Or not…

Donald Trump’s arraignment: what does it mean and how will it impact his 2024 Presidential bid?

Today, 4 April 2023, former President Donald Trump will be arraigned in New York City, and the entire world will hear the details of the criminal charges he’s facing. And no, the charges have nothing to do with Trump’s direct involvement in the 2021 January insurrection on the Capitol in Washington.

Rather, they’re in relation to an incident involving the former commander-in-chief covering up a lump of “hush money” paid to ex-porn star Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence over an alleged sexual encounter.

When Trump was officially indicted on 30 March by the Manhattan grand jury, he became the first current or former president to ever face criminal charges in the history of the US. He was never going to go down easily…

So, with the court proceedings kicking off today, we thought it’d be good to run down all of the most important details of the hearing: what the charges will consist of, how Trump will plead, what the next steps might be, and how this trial could impact Trump’s plans to run in the 2024 Presidential election.

What are the criminal charges Donald Trump is facing?

While we still don’t know the exact details surrounding the criminal charges facing Trump, we can take an educated guess. According to the BBC, the crux of the case revolves around a wire transfer of $130,000 (£105,000) by the businessman’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

Trump allegedly orchestrated the payment in order to stop Daniels from going public and telling the press about her sexual encounter with him. Since the investigation began, Trump has vehemently denied having sex with the woman.

Daniels, on the other hand, insists that, having met Trump in 2006, the pair had sex in a hotel room in Lake Tahoe.

While hush money deals aren’t technically illegal, Manhattan prosecutors have alleged that business records may have been falsified in relation to the payment. Reports made by The Independent imply that Trump will face 34 felony counts of business fraud.

How will Trump plead?

Trump’s lawyers have made it blatantly clear that the former president will be pleading not guilty. The businessman has been extremely vocal about his feelings on the matter, posting regularly on his very own social media platform, TRUTH Social. He’s repeatedly called the indictment a “witch hunt” and is continuing to parrot 2024 election rhetoric.

What are the next steps for Trump following the arraignment?

Having travelled from his home in Mar-a-Lago to New York, Trump is expected to surrender himself at the office of Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg. Once fingerprinted and processed by officials, he will be considered under arrest and in custody. He will then be arraigned in court—meaning the charges will be read out and he will plead. It’s then expected that he will be released on bail and return to Florida, as reported by the BBC.

Following all of this, pre-trial proceedings will begin, with the actual trial not due to occur until much later this year. Realistically, Trump will spend this time trying to discredit anyone attached to the charges and trial, while still enthusing his political base ahead of next year’s election.

How will Trump’s indictment impact his campaign for the 2024 Presidential elections?

While Trump lives in his own world of fantasy, make-believe and lunacy, there are going to be some consequences to his indictment, and subsequently these consequences may or may not impact his bid for re-election.

It’s a complicated matter, because on one hand, the Constitution does not require that the president be free from indictment, conviction or prison. In fact, it states that a person under indictment or in prison may still run for the office and may even serve as president. Bizarre, I know.

On the other hand, Trump might find it hard to embolden support behind bars. Of course, there is also the possibility that the former president’s arrest could further heighten Republican rhetoric regarding the Democrat’s takedown of Trump, and it’s also true that Make America Great Again (MAGA) fans have always been a faithful people, stating that Trump could do pretty much anything and they’d still support him. So, it’s really a guessing game as to how these charges might impact Trump’s campaign bid.

This all being said, while this trial may result in being nothing more than a symbolic slap on the wrist, it’s a serious move in the right direction—holding public figures accountable, no matter how big their ego may be.