The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School

The Heights Herald

The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School

The Heights Herald

The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School

The Heights Herald

Former president’s legal trials underway in midst of new campaign

Sumaya Adan
Donald Trump, the former president, might be the first ever to be convicted of a felony after holding the presidency.

Some have called the mugshot of the former U.S. President Donald Trump circulating the internet “comedic,” while others have dubbed it “iconic.” But all the necessary information behind the arrest that led to the already infamous image and the subsequent trials that are underway in four different courtrooms across the country are not nearly as ubiquitous or well-known. 

Now in 2023, all of Trump’s indictments have caught up to him. Although the former president is notorious for having multiple felonies and now four separate criminal cases, this is the first time in U.S. history that Trump has had a police department take his mugshot.

Although Trump has been scheduled and also released, his 13 interference cases with the Georgia 2020 U.S. elections have not been settled yet. Atlanta District Attorney (DA) Fani Willis has stated publicly that the trial for Trump and the other defendants (who include former New York City mayor and Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani) will be held regardless of any campaigning for the 2024 presidential election in which Trump, who is currently the leading Republican candidate, may be participating.. 

“The Trump case poses a unique challenge to democracy and ‘rule of law’ in the United States,” Columbia Heights High School (CHHS) AP U.S. Government and Politics teacher Mr. Tschida said. “The rule of law is the idea that laws should be applied equally to everyone regardless of status, power or wealth. It is fundamental that no one is above the law. For this system to work, people have to believe in the legitimacy of the system, and follow the rules (i.e. the Constitution) instead of their personal interests.”

Trump states his empathy and guilt towards his co-defendants, whom he believes were unrightfully named these court cases. 

“Those people that have been so unfairly dragged into this, these are high-quality people who don’t even know why they were brought in,” Trump stated in an interview with Newsmax hours before his booking in Georgia county jail. “Those people have to be released. They have to be released from this horrible thing that they’re going through.” 

More controversy arose when Trump ignored a question from the press following his arrest in August asking whether he saw his co-defendants as a “team,” and even more when it was noticed that he has not offered to contribute to the legal defense costs of the people charged alongside him in Georgia despite being a billionaire.

All 19 defendants in DA Willis’ case surrendered at noon on August 25 shortly after Trump. Trump seeks to remove his case from New York attorney Kenneth Chesebro, one of the co-defendants who was allegedly the architect of the fake electoral scam for which Trump is standing trial and has pleaded guilty to felony charges of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud. Trump stated in a court filing and against a call by Fulton County prosecutor Fani Willis because Chesebro wanted a speedy trial and Willis led to telling the judge all defendants should be trialed in late October of this year.

“I personally think that he should [go to prison] due to various reasons, one being that there are so many charges on him and chances are he committed a lot of those because they wouldn’t pile up like that for nothing,” Sheryn Narvaez (12) said. “If he is not arrested, it would make things difficult because it would seem as though people in power, especially politicians/government officials could get away with anything moving forward, and it could lead to a big wave of corruption in the near future.”  

As Trump’s indictment trial continues, the latest update being a gag order placed upon the former president regarding his Washington, D.C. criminal trial. Though the board’s concern for the length of the gag order placed by U.S District Judge Tanya Chutkan is being replaced by a shorter version of it, prosecutors agreed that Trump shouldn’t have carte blanche to scare witnesses. The board’s intention in rewriting the gag order is still unclear and is still dancing between the decision of sending it back to Chutkan. The time of which this will take place is also unclear, court panel decisions usually take weeks or months to sort out issues relating to the law. 

It is predicted that Trump will be the first former president to be convicted of a felony. Considering the infamous mugshot that spread widely throughout the internet, there is no doubt that this will be remembered for decades to come and might even make an appearance in a future history book

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About the Contributors
Safiya Ahmed
Safiya Ahmed, Co-Lead Photographer
Safiya H. Ahmed is a junior at CHHS and Co-Lead Photographer for The Heights Herald. She loves skateboarding and listening to music in her free time.
Sumaya Adan
Sumaya Adan, Staff Writer
Sumaya Adan is a freshman and first-year staff writer for TThe Heights Herald. She likes to read and watch films during her free time and loves listening to music.