Earlier this month, prosecutors announced that they are filing criminal charges against Donald Trump, accusing him of taking part in a plot to conceal a possible sex scandal during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The 34 felony counts of fabricating business records were brought against Trump, all of which centered on his role in the hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have an affair with him. Trump entered a not guilty plea to all of the accusations.
Arraigned less than a week after his indictment, Trump has become the first current or former president to face criminal charges in American history, stemming from a nearly five-year investigation. Last year he announced that he will be running for a second term in the White House, making this case all the more extraordinary.
While there was a mix of emotions in New York City during the arraignment, others around the country continued going about their day at work or school. On the campus of Michigan State University, students appeared mostly uninterested in the landmark case, but there were some with strong opinions on the matter.
“I mean he should be charged because he broke the law. It’s not that complicated,” said Adelaide Jerva, a sophomore majoring in social relations and policy. “I highly doubt he’ll actually go to prison for it though. It feels like he always gets out of these things.”
Nick Butkevich, a law student at Michigan State, explained how it will likely be a complicated case with many factors at play due to the amount of charges being pressed, not to mention the defendant being a former president.
One of the most polarizing figures in U.S. history, Trump has grown loyal followers and foes alike on the world stage ever since his unprecedented rise to the presidency in 2016. Now with the flurry of crimes being charged against him, some think his time at the forefront of the public eye is coming to an end.
“I’m glad they’re finally doing something to hold him accountable,” said Alayna Schumaker, a junior studying electrical engineering at MSU. “He has to go. People need to understand that he’s not going to be president again. Not this time.”
The trial against Trump won’t begin until January 2024 at the earliest, right before the Republican presidential primaries.