If you’re just joining us, here’s a quick round-up of what we know so far:
- A grand jury in New York has indicted former US president Donald Trump over hush money paid to former porn star Stormy Daniels.
- This is historic – Trump will be the first former US president to face criminal charges even as he makes another tilt for the White House
- The actual charges aren’t known yet but US media report there are more than two dozen
- New York prosecutors are still co-ordinating arrangements with Trump’s team but he will have to travel from Florida to New York for his expected court appearance on Tuesday
- Trump has blasted the case against him, calling it “political persecution”
- Republicans, including his rivals, have also closed ranks around their former president, defending him and attacking prosecutors
- Democrats have been measured in their response, emphasizing that no-one is above the law
We’ve been hearing from political experts this morning to find out what will happen next week and what it all means for Trump’s 2024 presidential bid.
UCL associate professor Brian Klaas says it’s likely Trump will surrender himself on Tuesday – although it’s unclear whether he will be handcuffed or have a felon shot.
“There are probably negotiations between the district attorney’s office and Trump’s legal team – I think Trump might relish that.”
“This is going to help Trump within his own party’s base… This will lead to him raising a lot of money and probably surging in the internal polls as the Republican party nominee,” Klaas says. However, across the political spectrum, this is unlikely to help Trump.
Klaas also says he is worried about the risk of violence, saying that Trump has already given signs he is “rallying his base as he did before 6 January to respond violently” to his prosecution.
He is referring to Trump’s speech to supporters before a mob of thousands descended on the US Capitol building on 6 January 2021, as Congress certified President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.