Former President Donald Trump was indicted by a grand jury in Manhattan this week. The exact nature of the charge(s) remain sealed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, but the case is believed to relate to a $130,000 payment Trump made to former porn actress Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about their years-old alleged extramarital affair during his 2016 presidential campaign. The grand jury also heard testimony about another payment Trump allegedly made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Trump’s lawyers, Susan Necheles and Joseph Tacopina, have indicated that an arrangement is being made for their client to turn himself in to authorities in New York City as soon as Tuesday, April 4. Political observers believe the indictment could hurt Trump’s 2024 chances, but he has denied any wrongdoing and has called the Manhattan D.A.’s actions a “political witch hunt.”
This development has caused some bettors to reduce their wagering positions for Trump’s chances of winning the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination, with current odds on PredictIt giving him a 44% chance of securing the Republican ticket. Despite this dip, Trump still remains the GOP favorite over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has a 38% chance of challenging the Democratic ticket.
Trump’s opponents have long called for his criminal charges, with US Senate Major Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and House Minority Leader Nancy Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy has stood in support of Trump, saying “anybody who thinks going after Trump for paying a porn star to keep her mouth shut about an old affair is a good use of time or taxpayer dollars is a political pawn.”
The indictment of a former president is a rare occurrence, but the current situation has highlighted the importance of accountability and equal treatment under the law. President Joe Biden remains the betting front-runner for the 2024 presidential election, with a 41% chance of securing another four years in the White House. Trump and DeSantis are both at 28%.