Opinion: Trump’s fate now hinges on these three questions

Opinion: Trump’s fate now hinges on these three questions

Opinion: Trump’s Fate Now Hinges on These Three Questions


As the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump gets underway in the Senate, the outcome remains uncertain. The Democratic-led House impeached Trump on one count of incitement of insurrection following the January 6 Capitol riot. With a narrow Senate majority, Chuck Schumer‘s Democrats face an uphill battle to secure the necessary 17 Republican votes needed for conviction. Let’s explore the three pivotal questions that will determine Trump’s fate.

Question One: Will Senators View Trump’s Behavior as a Threat to National Security?

The first question revolves around whether or not Republican senators view Trump’s actions as a threat to national security. Prosecutors will argue that Trump’s false claims about the election being stolen incited a mob to storm the Capitol, putting lives in danger and disrupting the peaceful transfer of power. On the other hand, Trump’s defense team will contend that the former president had every right to express his concerns about election irregularities and that his speech was not an incitement to violence.

Question Two: Will Senators Believe the Witness Testimony?

The second question is whether or not Republican senators will believe the testimony presented by witnesses, including those who were present at the Capitol during the riot. Democrats plan to call witnesses like Officer Eugene Goodman and Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, who have first-hand accounts of the events that transpired on January 6. However, Trump’s defense team may challenge their credibility or argue that their testimonies do not directly link the former president to the riot.

Question Three: What is the Political Price of a Conviction?

The final question is what the political price will be for any Republican senator who votes to convict Trump. The former president continues to maintain a stronghold over the Republican base, and a conviction could lead to a political backlash against those who voted to remove him from office. Conversely, failing to convict Trump could result in criticism that the Senate failed to uphold its constitutional duty to protect the country from a potential danger.

Opinion: Trump’s fate now hinges on these three questions

Three Critical Questions Determining Donald Trump’s Political Future and Legal Consequences


Donald Trump

, the 45th President of the United States, made headlines from his controversial entry into politics back in 2015. With a business background and a flair for reality television, Trump’s populist campaign promises, such as building a wall along the Mexican border and a travel ban targeting several Muslim countries, resonated with many Americans. However, his divisive rhetoric and numerous scandals throughout his term have left a lasting impact on American politics, both domestically and internationally.

Background and Current Legal Issues

Following his departure from the White House in January 2021, Trump faced several legal investigations and allegations. Some of these include:

  1. Capitol Riot Investigation

    : The January 6, 2021, Capitol riot left many Americans and lawmakers questioning Trump’s role in inciting the violent event that aimed to overturn the 2020 election results.

  2. New York Criminal Investigation

    : The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is currently investigating Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, for possible financial crimes, including tax fraud.

  3. Georgia Election Interference

    : Georgia election officials are probing Trump’s attempts to interfere in the 2020 elections by pressuring state officials to overturn the results in his favor.

Thesis Statement

These legal investigations, along with others, bring forth three critical questions that will determine Trump’s political future and potential legal consequences:

What are the specific allegations against Trump and his associates?

Understanding the evidence presented in each case is crucial to evaluating the potential consequences for Trump.

What will be the outcome of these investigations?

The resolution of each investigation could lead to anything from no charges being filed, to civil or criminal penalties for Trump and his associates.

How will the public respond to the findings?

Public opinion plays a significant role in shaping Trump’s political future, as he continues to maintain a large following among some Americans.

Question 1:

Will the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Indict Trump over Hush Money Payments?

Overview of the Allegations against Trump and Cohen

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is currently investigating former President Donald Trump and his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen over hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to two women who claimed they had sexual encounters with Trump: Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. The payments were made in October 2016, just weeks before the election, to prevent the allegations from becoming public. Cohen arranged for Daniels to receive $130,000 and McDougal received $150,000 from American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer.

The Significance of the Grand Jury Investigation

The significance of this grand jury investigation lies in its potential to result in criminal charges against Trump and Cohen. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has impaneled a grand jury to consider evidence related to the payments, indicating that it is actively considering potential charges.

Potential Charges and Their Legal Implications for Trump

The potential charges include false statements/perjury and campaign finance violations. Trump and Cohen have both denied any wrongdoing. However, if the grand jury finds that Trump or Cohen knowingly made false statements to secure the payments or cover them up, they could face perjury charges. If it’s found that the payments constituted illegal in-kind campaign contributions and were made without proper reporting, then campaign finance violations could apply. A conviction on either charge could have significant legal implications for Trump, including potential disqualification from holding future public office and damage to his reputation.

Expected Timeline and Possible Outcomes of the Investigation

The timeline for this investigation is uncertain, with reports suggesting it could take months or even years to reach a conclusion. However, some legal experts believe that indictments could be handed down before the end of 202The possible outcomes include no charges, a settlement with Cohen, or an indictment against Trump and/or Cohen. The final decision rests with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the grand jury.

Opinion: Trump’s fate now hinges on these three questions

I Question 2: Will the Georgia Grand Jury Indict Trump for Election Interference?

Background of the Georgia election investigation: Following the controversial 2020 Presidential Election, several investigations were initiated to examine allegations of election interference. One such inquiry is being led by the Fulton County Grand Jury in Georgia. This investigation centers around former President Donald Trump‘s actions regarding the election results in the state.

Allegations of interference in the 2020 Presidential Election in Georgia:

The allegations stem from a phone call Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on January 2, 202During this conversation, Trump reportedly pressed Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn his defeat in the state. Some argue that these actions could constitute violations of both Georgia and federal laws, including election tampering, solicitation of election fraud, and making false statements.

Phone call to Brad Raffensperger:

In the recorded conversation, Trump urged Raffensperger and his staff to change the election outcome by finding and counting “dead people” and “absentee ballots that were opened late.” He also suggested that they could find 11,000 votes to change the result. This conversation has raised concerns among election officials and lawmakers alike.

Legal implications for Trump if indicted:

Should the grand jury indict Trump, he could face serious criminal charges. These may include election interference, solicitation of election fraud, and making false statements. A criminal indictment would significantly damage Trump’s political reputation, potentially barring him from holding office in the future.

Political fallout:

Trump’s potential indictment would undoubtedly bring significant political fallout. Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, this event could further divide an already polarized country and fuel debates about election integrity and political accountability.

Expected timeline and possible outcomes of the investigation:

The Fulton County District Attorney’s office has stated that they expect to present their case to the grand jury in late January or early February 202However, the exact timeline is subject to change depending on the complexity of the investigation and the availability of witnesses. The grand jury could choose to indict Trump or decline to do so, which would have significant implications for his political future.

Opinion: Trump’s fate now hinges on these three questions

Question 3: Will the House Jan. 6 Committee Issue Criminal Referrals for Trump?

Overview of the Jan. 6 committee and its investigation into the Capitol attack

The House Select Committee on the January 6th Attack, commonly known as the Jan. 6 committee, was established by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to investigate the events leading up to and on January 6, 202The primary goal of this bipartisan committee is to examine the facts and circumstances related to the Capitol riot and report its findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives and the American people.

Trump’s role in the events leading up to and during the Capitol riot

Pressuring Pence and other officials

Former President Donald Trump’s role in the January 6th Capitol attack has been a significant point of interest for the Jan. 6 committee. It is believed that Trump put immense pressure on Vice President Mike Pence and other officials to overturn the election results, despite the lack of evidence supporting these claims. Numerous phone calls and meetings between Trump and his advisors, as well as public statements made by the former president, suggest that he was actively encouraging efforts to challenge the election results.

Incitement of violence at the rally

Trump’s actions on January 6, 2021, are also under investigation. His speech at the “Save America Rally” just before the Capitol attack is a focus area for the committee. The language Trump used during his rally, which many argue was an incitement to violence, has been a topic of debate and concern for lawmakers and the public alike. The committee is examining whether these words crossed the line from protected free speech to incitement of criminal activity.

Potential charges if criminal referrals are issued against Trump

Seditious Conspiracy

If the Jan. 6 committee decides to issue criminal referrals against Trump, he may face charges related to seditious conspiracy. This federal crime involves two or more individuals conspiring to overthrow the government of the United States through force or violence. The committee is investigating whether Trump, along with others, engaged in such activities leading up to and during the Capitol riot.


Another potential charge against Trump could be insurrection, which is a crime under the District of Columbia Code. This offense involves engaging in rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or of any state, with force and arms. The committee is examining whether Trump’s actions leading up to and during the Capitol attack meet the criteria for this charge.

Political implications of a criminal referral, even without follow-through by the DOJ

A criminal referral from the Jan. 6 committee against Trump would have significant political implications, regardless of whether the Department of Justice (DOJ) chooses to pursue the case. The mere act of a referral could further damage Trump’s reputation and potentially impact his future political aspirations. It would also serve as a reminder to the American public of the seriousness of the events that took place on January 6, 2021.

Opinion: Trump’s fate now hinges on these three questions


Recap of the three questions and their significance for Trump’s future

The investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the ongoing probe of hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, and the examination of Trump’s business dealings are three major investigations that could significantly impact Donald Trump’s future. The first, which centers around possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, raises questions about Trump’s integrity, his respect for American democratic processes, and his potential vulnerability to foreign influence. The second, concerning payments made during the campaign to silence alleged affairs, raises ethical concerns regarding Trump’s morality and honesty. Lastly, the third, which focuses on Trump’s business dealings, may reveal potential financial improprieties and could undermine his claim of being a successful businessman.

Possible scenarios if all, some, or none of these investigations result in indictments

  1. Continued political influence and presence

    : If no indictments emerge from these investigations, Trump’s supporters may view this as vindication. He could continue to wield significant political influence and maintain a strong presence within the Republican Party. However, lingering doubts and suspicions might persist among his critics and some members of the public.

  2. Legal consequences and potential disqualification from holding office

    : If indictments are handed down, Trump could face legal consequences ranging from fines to imprisonment. Depending on the severity of these consequences, he might be disqualified from holding future office, including a potential presidential run in 202This would deal a significant blow to his political aspirations and could lead to an ongoing debate about the implications of criminal conduct for presidential eligibility.

  3. The long-term impact on Trump’s legacy and the future of American politics

    : Regardless of whether indictments are issued or not, these investigations could have lasting effects on Trump’s legacy and the future of American politics. They might lead to increased scrutiny and oversight of political campaigns, business dealings, and international relations. Moreover, they could prompt broader debates about ethics in politics, campaign finance laws, and the role of foreign actors in American elections.