A Manhattan grand jury has indicted Donald Trump over hush money payments made to a porn star during his 2016 campaign, making him the first former US president to be charged with a crime and upending his bid to win the presidency again in 2024.
The investigation's lead prosecutor, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, confirmed that his office got in touch with Trump's attorneys on Thursday night to "coordinate his surrender" on unspecified charges.
The Washington Post reacted cautiously to Trump's indictment, questioning the prosecution's case against the former president.
The newspaper opined in an editorial headlined The Trump Indictment is a Poor Test Case for Prosecuting a Former President that the case involving Stormy Daniels is "perhaps the least compelling" of the potential crimes for which Trump is being investigated.
The Post reported that prosecutors appeared to be pursuing a "novel" and "shaky" case against Trump, which could jeopardise other more serious charges against him. Trump is also being investigated for his role in the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.
A failed prosecution would also provide ammunition for the former president's accusations of a witch hunt, according to the newspaper
The prosecution needs to be airtight or it’s not worth continuing, the paper added.
Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal, known for its conservative editorial board, called Trump's indictment a "sad day for the country," with "unpredictable and probably destructive political ramifications."
While admitting that there could be compelling evidence against Trump that has yet to be seen, the newspaper stated that legal experts' analysis did not inspire confidence, and that any prosecution of a former president should involve a serious crime with evidence "solid enough that a reasonable voter would find it persuasive."
The indictment, according to the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper, sets a dangerous precedent for US politics.
The editorial board said that once a former President and current candidate is indicted, some local Republican prosecutor will look to make a name for himself by doing the same to a Democrat. As a result, U.S. democracy will be further abused and battered.
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times called Trump's indictment a "momentous and sobering development," but focused on the need to ensure that the former president is not re-elected in 2024, regardless of his guilt or innocence.
According to the newspaper, while Trump should be given the due process that any defendant is entitled to, he has disqualified himself from office regardless of the legal outcome.
The editorial board said that nothing would so threaten the presidency, and the nation, as the election of Trump in 2024.