Rule of Law

USC students react to Trump’s indictment

The former president is expected to appear in court tomorrow

Tomorrow, former President Trump will appear in court, marking the first time in U.S. history that a current or former president has faced criminal charges. Before the historic event, students shared their perspective on the situation. Kimberly Aguirre reports.

Today, former President Donald Trump flew from Florida to New York and landed in La Guardia airport in preparation of his arraignment tomorrow.

This comes after Trump was indicted by a grand jury in Manhattan last Thursday.

As of Monday afternoon, the exact charges against Trump are unknown, but they are believed to involve hush money that Trump allegedly paid to an adult film actress.

Praveen Fernandes, the vice president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, a nonprofit public interest law firm in Washington D.C., believes that although the courtroom process will be typical, the nature of the situation is extraordinary.

Praveen Fernandes: I think there has rightly been a lot of attention on the unprecedented nature of the defendants here. And we have never had a president go through his process of fingerprinting, a mug shot instead of being a former president who has been charged and indicted for a crime. But the actual process itself is is not that exceptional.

According to information provided by Fernandes, Trump plans to plead not guilty. Yet, if Trump is found guilty, the ruling would not bar him from running for office.

The unprecedented nature of this event is also something that resonates with the USC community.

All around campus, students are reacting to this historic event. One of them is Luc Hosy, a junior studying arts, technology, and the business of innovation, who believes that Trump still being able to run for president speaks to a larger issue.

Luc Hosy: I think the fact that he’s running for president despite being indicted, I think that shows that there might be a a gap in the political system in which we need to create edits and need to think about because now we have this new example in our history. I think that’s cause for for some change.

Others such as Macie Burgard, a senior studying civil engineering, believe that changes should also come in the way that presidents conduct themselves.

Macie Burgard: Presidents will maybe feel like a little bit more responsibility and less like laws don’t apply to them, because I feel like that’s maybe an issue in the past, like being above the law a little bit.

But ultimately, what this has done is create conversations. Something that Jake Berg, a sophomore studying intelligence and cyber operations, hopes will cause a moment of reckoning for all Americans.

Jake Berg: Hopefully people realize that it’s important to talk to people across the aisle or respect your counterpart’s like I think both sides need to take back you, right? Like obviously MAGA people are pretty intense, but also on on the other side of the aisle, people who condemn them and and don’t recognize them as like fellow Americans, I think that’s a step too far as well. So I think hopefully this has made people realize that we need to just kind of embrace each other as Americans and hopefully change things in the future.

Trump will appear in court around 2:15 eastern time. After which, he is expected to fly back to Florida.