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So Donald Trump got indicted...

Episode Summary

The indictment of former president Donald Trump has provoked praise and criticism alike. So what’s next?

Episode Notes

The indictment of former president Donald Trump has provoked praise and criticism alike. So what’s next? We talk to two of our political wizards to figure it out.

Read the full transcript here.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times political columnist Mark Z. Barabak, and L.A. Times national security reporter Sarah D. Wire

More reading:

Full coverage: Trump hush-money probe

Trump indicted in alleged hush-money scheme, becoming first former U.S. president in history to be prosecuted

Column: Scandal after scandal, Trump has defied political physics. Will this time be different?

Episode Transcription

This is an unedited transcript. We apologize for the mistakes. A corrected transcript is coming soon.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: Late last week, Donald Trump made history again. 

AP: Donald Trump's lawyer says The former president has been indicted in a New York hush money case

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: He became the first former US President to be criminally charged after he was indicted by a grand jury in Manhattan. The case involved an alleged the case involves an alleged hush money payment to former adult actress Stormy Daniels. The case involves an alleged hush money payment to former adult actress Stormy Daniel. The case involves an alleged hush money payment to former, the case involves an the case involves an alleged hush money payment to former adult actress Stormy Daniels. 

AP: In a statement, his lawyer said Trump did not commit any crime. They said they will offer a vigorous defense to what they say is a political prosecution.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, made the payment in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign. I'm gonna do that. Sorry, I had to take it. Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, made the payment in the final. Yeah, Trump's former attorney, Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, made the payment in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign. 

AP: It's alleged that Trump and his allies, including his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, made a $130,000 payment to Ms. Daniels in order to keep her quiet about the alleged encounter.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: The indictment comes at the form. The indictment comes as the former president is facing a handful of other ongoing investigations, and as he's running for a president in 2024. Trump denies wrongdoing in all of them, but will voters.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: I'm Gustav. You're listening to the Times Essential News from the LA Times. It's Monday, April 3rd, 2023. Today, what you need to know about the indictment of Donald Trump and how it might impact the 2024 and how it might impact and how it might impact the 2024 presidential election now, and how it might impact the 2024 presidential election and how it might impact the 2024 presidential election. And how it might impact a 2024 presidential election. I'm not landing on election. Right. And how it might impact the 2024 presidential election one more time and how it might impact a 2024 presidential election. Election. I wanna do election and how it might impact a 2024 presidential election.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed:  Here to talk to me about all this are two political wizards, my LA Times colleague, Sarah Dwyer, and Mark z Barback.

Sarah Mark, welcome to The Times Here to talk to me about all this are two political wizards, my LA Times colleague Sarah Dwyer, and Mark z Barback. Sarah Mark. Sarah Mark, welcome to the Times.

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: Thanks for having.

Mark_Trump Incictment_Processed: Hey, Colonel.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: Okay, Sarah, so the case that resulted in indictment of Donald Trump last week, the one tied to the alleged payment to Stormy Daniels, what are the details, like what's the crime, what are the charges, and who's, who's involved?

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: At this point, we still don't know. Um, the indictment's been sealed. Uh, we should find out Tuesday afternoon when, uh, the former president is arraigned in New York City. Uh, but at this point it's up to him whether he releases any of the details before then. And we know bits and pieces that, um, might be a lot more charges than people are expecting that the case might be much broader than just, um, you know, hush money and covering up that hush money.

To the porn actor, but beyond that, we don't know too many details.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: So what exactly is the case that, uh, Manhattan Da Alvin Bragg is pursuing or alleg?

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: Uh, the case he's pursuing is that we believe, and that's what important to, uh, uh, keep saying, is that, uh, Trump's legal fixer, Michael Cohen paid, uh, a, a. uh, Porn actress, uh, $130,000 to keep her from telling her story right before the, uh, uh, 2016 election. And that, uh, Trump and the Trump organization repaid Cohen over the course of over a year  uh, and classified the money as legal expenses.

They kept him on retainer without actually providing any, uh, legal work for the former.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: So this payment, then it could be a felony.

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: Yes. And actually the felony is, is, uh, uh, specifically in terms of, uh, Improper campaign donations. Um, you know, this far exceeds the amount of money that the Trump organization would be allowed to give to his campaign. And because the payment was made just days before the 2016 election, uh, it's seen as an in-kind contribution.

Um, you know, if, if Trump had just paid this woman out of his own pocket, it wouldn't have been considered a campaign. Uh, issue.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: and Mark, why is this indictment coming down now? Gosh, how long have I been hearing about this alleged payment? And Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump. And didn't Michael Cohen already go to jail over this already?

Mark_Trump Incictment_Processed: He did. And, and to answer your first question, you know, you know, they, they say God works in mysterious ways. Well, well Well, well so do grand juries. So we don't really know what the timing is. You know,  You know, this was a case that others had looked at and, and passed on. So we don't know, maybe when the indictment comes down, we'll, we'll get a further explanation, o o o of that.

And, uh, there have been hints that, uh, the charges may go. The Stormy Daniels allegations, but as Sarah said, we don't know and won't know until that indictment is unsealed. But yes, Michael Cohen, who was Trump's lawyer and fixer, you know, he said once that he would take a bullet for Donald Trump and he didn't do that.

But he did go to jail. He went to jail for 13 months and phased home, confined for another year after that. Given his involvement in that case, and, and he has since turned against Trump with a vengeance. I mean, I mean, he has been a witness in a number of, of cases and investigations, uh, on Capitol Hill in New York and other jurisdictions.

So, So, um, the worm has really turned, uh, for, uh, Michael Cohen and, uh, uh, the Donald Trump relationship.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: Sarah, what's, sorry, I, sorry. 3, 2, 1. What's the reaction from President Trump and his supporters about this indictment?

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: You know, You know, he's really approaching this as a political problem and not a legal problem. Um, you know, he's decrying the district attorney for conducting a witch hunt, saying that, you know, you know, he would not be being prosecuted if he wasn't running for president in 2024. You know, he is calling his allies on Capitol Hill and trying to shore up support.

You know, You know, a lot of people quickly fell in line behind him when the indictment became public last week, and you you know, Again, we still don't know the details of, uh, what he's being charged with. We don't know the evidence that he's, uh, uh, you know, it's going to be brought before him in court, but you immediately saw the party line up behind him.

Even, you know, some of the people who are expect to be competing with him for the nomination, uh, came to his, came to his, uh, back.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: And they're decrying as a witch hunt.

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: They're decrying it as a witch hunt. They're saying it is political, you know, you know, weaponization of the judicial system in order  to, to stop a political candidate from, um, getting power. You know, the, the former president has really pushed this as, you know, they, they couldn't stop him through impeachment and they couldn't stop him through all these investigations.

Um, and you know, this is just another step in the long line. That started with the Russia investigation, I think was a, a line he put out on social media on Thursday.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: What about just general supporters? Are you surprised that they didn't immediately hold mass rallies right after the announcement? The way Trump ele, uh, the way Trump insinuated it might happen.

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: You know, You know, a lot of major cities were preparing for it. Uh, you know, every New York City cop was told to be in uniform on Friday. Um, there were. Bike wraps, racks up around the, uh, capitol in Washington, dc you know, you know, even Los Angeles was getting ready for the, the chance of riots, and they are not riots but rallies and they didn't appear immediately.

And some of that might be with the timing of when the news came down with the indictment. Um, but you know, you know, there were rallies planned over the weekend. Um, Whether they were of a size to convince anyone. I mean, that goes back to the issue of this is a legal issue, not a political one. And you know, this is not something he can worm his way out of.

The grand jury has, has voted has, the, you know, district attorney is bringing charges.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: Mark, what about reactions that you're seeing from Democrats?

Mark_Trump Incictment_Processed: Well, uh,  I don't know if gleeful would be, uh, uh, uh, an umbrella term I would use. I mean, it really, it really depends, you know, your, your, your Twitterverse, your your, your Democrats who are on uh, uh, uh, Twitter are, are quite delighted. Your, uh, Democrats who are on elected office tend to take more measured views. Uh, talking in terms of letting the process play out.


Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: the rallies

Mark_Trump Incictment_Processed: there's, there's no sadness in, in, in Mudville, uh, on the Democratic side, that's for sure.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: the indictment in the media aftermath of its announcement. 

Okay. Sorry about that. 3, 2, 1. Coming up after the break, the historical nature coming up after the break, the historical nature of Trump's indictment coming up after the break, the historical nature of Trump's indictment.

Break 1

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: So Mark Donald Trump is the first former president to be indicted, but have others come close. Nixon, maybe Herbert Hoover. Didn't Andrew Johnson get impeached way back in the day?

Mark_Trump Incictment_Processed: The, yeah. Donald Trump. Well, Donald Trump, uh, you know, he's, he, he's a groundbreaker in in a lot of ways, not just the first president, former president to be indicted, the first president to be impeached. Not once but twice. Um, but yes, the first president ever to be indicted. Did others come close?

Arguably, yes. You know, Richard Nixon left the White House in, in, 1974, thinking he was gonna go to jail for, uh, his, his misdeeds in, in the Watergate scandal. He was pardoned by Gerald Ford, uh, at the time, a very contr, a very three. Two, one at the time, a very controversial move. Some say that it cost, uh, Ford election in in 1976.

He's since been seen as a hero. He's been won all sorts of awards for political courage for pardoning Nixon, because he wanted the country to move on from it. Bill Clinton, in, in the last hours, uh, he was in office, admitted to lying under oath in, uh, the Mono Lewinsky case to avoid prosecution for perjury.

So he, he dodged. Proverbial, bullet. Warren Har. Warren Harding. I'm gonna say this again. 3, 2, 1. Warren Harding, who, uh, I did not cover Gustavo, but anyway, he died in office, but he very well could have faced indictment for the Teapot dome scandal, which was, uh, involved the, uh, uh, federal oil leases in, in Wyoming.

Um, we do have a precedent that should be noted. Ulysses Grant. As a sitting president was actually arrested, in 1872. He was recklessly driving his horse and buggy through the streets of, uh, Georgetown, um, was arrested and and hopefully didn't set a precedent. He paid a 20 de, excuse me ho, I'll do that again.

3, 2, 1, and hopefully didn't set a precedent. He paid a $20 bond and then forfeited it rather than showing up for trial the next day.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: Wow. So that is the only American president ever arrested. While in office, of course, Trump's not in office anymore, and Trump's indictment is not only unprecedented. He's also the leading candidate for the 2024 Republican president. I'm gonna say it again. 3, 2, 1. Wow. That's, That's, that's a story that I was not expecting, mark.

But that aside, Trump's indictment is not only unprecedented. He's also the leading Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential nomination right now. So, So, Sarah, does any of this,  the indictment of possible conviction, all these other, uh, investigations going into Trump by other, uh, other das and other prosecutors, does that limit Trump's ability to run or even be.

Sarah does any of this, the indictment of possible conviction limit Trump's ability to run for or even be president,

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: I mean, No, I mean, he can run, uh, uh, it, it, it's happened in the past. The, you know, you know, and we, that's important for listeners to keep in mind is because this trial is not gonna be done next week. This trial is not gonna be done next month. Um, you know, you know, these type of trials take a very long time to even come, uh, before a judge or before a jury.

And so, you know, this so, you know, might not even be resolved by the time nomination process next year might not even be resolved before the election takes place.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: And I know some historical, uh, presidential trivia. There was a president, sorry, 3, 2, 1. I know some presidential trivia. There was a presidential nominee or candidate who was still running from jail. That was Eugene v Debs 1918 socialist candidate. He was put in jail for opposing World War I, but he was still running. So, so would he be able to govern the country, uh, Donald Trump if he, sorry, 3, 2, 1. So would, 3, 2, 1. So if Trump won the nomination, the trial's still going, and then he gets convicted, would he be able to govern the country from jail?

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: I believe technically he would be allowed to. The, uh, prohibitions on, uh, uh, felons tend to be at the state level for representatives and senators and governors. Um, but I'm not exactly positive when it comes to, uh, uh, president Mark might know better than.

Mark_Trump Incictment_Processed: Uh, you know, I, I don't, I think we're in, uh, uh, I mean, I mean, you can't emphasize enough un uncharted territory here. And if we spin this out, one, one could just imagine, um, I don't know, would, would there be a, a presidential wing, uh, at Leavenworth or, or something? or, or something?

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: More unprecedented. Sorry. More unprecedented stuff. Sorry. Three to one more unprecedented stuff. Wow. That'd be interesting. But Sarah, what should we expect then to see next? If a trial, if it gets to that par, if it gets to that point, might be a couple years off. Where does the case go from here?

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: You know, You know, Trump's lawyers are already saying quietly that they def def definitely do not expect him to accept any offered plea, um, that he wants. In some ways make a bit of a show of this. Um, you know, he sees this as a political upside. At least that's what we're hearing from people within his circles. Um, but you know, but you know, that might change as time goes on and there's going to be a certain point as evidence comes out where the rest of the party has to decide whether to stay with him or not.

I mean, I mean, that's. Kind of Kind of a full circle part of this, you know, the payment was made right after the Access Hollywood video was, uh, an audio was made public in the 2016 campaigns, and a support for Trump was getting a little bit shaky within the party. You had a lot of people who are standing by him now.

Saying at the time that they could never support him. And then, you know, he kind of did  you  know, kind of his, his sympathy tour and people came forward and, you know, changed their minds and ended up voting for him. Um, you know, you know, we'll see if, if if, he's in the middle of a, a trial and there's evidence being brought forward, um, not just here, but also in Fulton County, Georgia, uh, possibly with the Special counsel.

Um, regarding to, you know, the documents in Mar-a-Lago and in, uh, the efforts, uh, uh, retain power after the 2020 election. You know, is that gonna be just too much baggage for people? I mean, only I mean, time's gonna tell us the answer to that.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: Mark, you've seen a lot of politicians go down, but as my brother-in-law, Bernie says, prison is for the poor, not for the rich. So do you think a conviction is gonna be likely of Trump?

Mark_Trump Incictment_Processed:  I, I, you know, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm not a, a legal expert. Uh, and, and, and I'm, I'm, I'm low to try and play one, uh, in print or on this podcast. I mean, I, I, I, I, I don't know. Your guess is really as good as mine. We don't know what the evidence is. Um, you know, he'll be tried presumably, uh, in Manhattan. Although you have to imagine he'd, he'd go for a change of venue, not a very, very favorable jury.

Likely there. I'd be surprised if Trump got 20% of the vote in, in Manhattan. But you know, you know, there's so much of this that we don't know. We don't know what the cases are. We don't know how strong the case against, against, against the former president is. I think, I think it's worth pointing out we're, we're, we're sort sort of an uncharted legal territory here because.

This is an attempt to use a state law to hold him responsible for an alleged violation of federal campaign law. So it's, it's kind of a bank shot, and again, I'm, I'm not a legal expert, but people who are legal experts say it, it, it, it's it's on kind of shaky ground.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: So why would then a local prosecutor try to do something involving an alleged federal?

Mark_Trump Incictment_Processed: You know, You know, that's a, that, that's that, that's a good question. And the answer may come when the indictment is unsealed and we know what the evidence is. I mean, it has to be said, everything in including. You know what, what I just said is, is pure speculation. We don't know, uh, presumably he looked at the evidence, presumably he assumed, look, you have to think that Alvin Bragg realizes he's the Manhattan District Attorney, realizes the stakes in this case and, and would not have brought a case unless he was convinced that it would yield a conviction.

So we gotta wait and see what the evidence is.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: After the break, more on what the indictment of Donald Trump pretends for the 2024 election.


Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: Okay, folks, I think the big question on everyone's mind. Right now through election day 2024, is what is this indictment going to mean for former President Trump in that election? So, mark, I'll start with you.

Did Alvin Bragg, the prosecutor in New York, who is filing charges against him, just hand the election to Donald Trump.

Mark_Trump Incictment_Processed: The, the short answer is no. Uh, and that's not to say that he. Made sure Donald Trump is not to be, uh, elected or, or the nominee. The thing is, we, we don't know. That certainly is a common refrain that we're hearing among Republicans. This, this was a gift to Trump. Um, I have to start by saying I have never been more wrong about anything in my long career covering politics than I have been about Donald Trump.

The stories are out there forevermore on the internet, and you can see how wrong I've been. So I'm very low to make any predictions, but I, I, I will say this. We saw this sort of rallying. Trump phenomena after the Mar-a-Lago documents, uh, after that scandal broke and it receded and it's, it's not uncommon.

People forget, you know, when the hostages were taken, uh, in Iran, people rallied around Jimmy Carter to start. So what happens in the immediate aftermath is sort of inclination to go to your partisan corner. Doesn't necessarily. Stick over time. So Republicans say it's gonna help him. I, I personally, I'm dubious, people say it's gonna fire up a supporters to me.

It's like a glass of water. You can only fill it up so high. I mean, his supporters are fired up anyway. It's not like they get an extra two or three or four votes. Just because Trump is indicted despite what, despite what they might think about, uh, our, our election system or the lies they might have swallowed about, about its corrupt ability.

So of course it's gonna help him with his base, but they were there through thick, through thin. does an indictment expand his support, make people who otherwise weren't Donald Trump's support? Say, you know what, by God he was indicted, first paying Husman to a a, a pornographic film actress. You know what?

He's my guy. I'm skeptical, but very many of those folks are out.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: But does it hurt him? Then maybe say, Republicans or decline to state people who maybe had voted for him in the past and say, no, you know what? I'm done with this. This is, this is enough. And maybe I don't like Biden or whoever's gonna run for the Democratic Party, but I'm just gonna go with them instead, or just not vote for Trump at all.

So, in other words, uh, erode that base.

Mark_Trump Incictment_Processed: Look, that's certainly my supposition. And again, put a big, put a big, huge asterisk next to anything I say. But you know, that's my supposition. I mean, my feeling is in 2016, A lot of people voted for Donald Trump because he was an outsider, because he was anti-establishment, because they didn't like Hillary Clinton.

There was this whole question about what would you get with a Donald Trump presidency. Well, Well, now it's not notional anymore. We know what you get with a Donald Trump presidency. We've seen the impeachments. We've seen January 6th. That's not gonna deter his base necessarily, but that base makes up maybe 30, 35, 37% of of, of, uh, the Republican party, it, it, it's not enough and may be enough to win a primary in a divided field. 35% ain't enough to win a general election. Forgive me for saying ain't, but it's not.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed:  And Sarah, it's not just this indictment that Trump has to worry about. If I, as I said earlier, there's still everything going on with the classified documents and something also possibly coming out of Georgia.

And Sarah, like we said earlier, it's not just this indictment that Trump has to worry about. There's still everything going on with the classified documents and something even coming out of Georgia and something even possibly coming out of Georgia and something even possibly, and something even possibly coming out of Georgia and something even possibly coming out of Georgia.

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: Yeah, I mean, I mean, this is not the first or last legal trouble that he has to be watching out for. Um, there is the, uh, Case in Fulton County, Georgia, where we, we know that the, uh, you know, local officials are looking right now at whether to bring an indictment and, uh, specifically about his attempts to, to interfere with the Georgia election results.

Um, we know that the special Counsel is still bringing people before the grand jury to hear, uh, you know, more evidence about, uh, Trump's efforts to, uh, hold on to classified information that he took with him after he left the White House, even defying an, uh, a subpoena, uh, ordered by a judge. And, you know, there's also the ongoing, uh, case or the ongoing investigation into, uh, what happened exactly after the 2020 election.

His, his efforts to stay in power once the electoral college had voted. You know, you've got the weeks there where he was still pushing people to, to protest. He was asking the vice president to, um, you know, to reject. You know, duly voted electors from being counted in Congress and, you know, we'll, we'll you know, we'll, we'll see what charges inevitably come down from those, if any.

Uh, but I can't imagine these are the only indictments we're gonna see.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: With all of these investigations and we'll see what happens with them. What sort of, what sort of concerns has that raised? Not necessarily for Trump himself, but for those involved in those investigations?

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: Now, the one thing I'm hearing over and over is that they will not allow politics to be the deciding factor in whether to bring charges and whether to pursue them to trial. Um, you know, you're, you're hearing that even at the, uh, special council level with, you know, normally the Department of Justice.

Historically has tried to not get involved in political campaigns, especially in the 60 to 90   Uh, that kinda went out the window in 2016 with Hillary Clinton, obviously, but, uh, you know, the, the leash appears to be off when it comes to the special council. Um, and he's been told to, to pursue this until the end, uh, regardless of the timing.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: But have these people received death threats or has there been any, uh, threats of violence against, say, district attorney's offices or courthouse?

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: Uh, Uh, specifically when it comes to the, uh, the Manhattan District Attorney, that's where we've seen it, uh, front and center. Um, Alvin Bragg received a, a written death threat and an envelope full of white powder. Um, there have been threats to other judges who are overhearing other. Cases related to Trump or the Trump organization.

Um, you know, it, it's heightened and, uh, you know, president Trump didn't necessarily help himself before the indictment was, uh, announced. You know, he was urging his supporters to, to protest, to, you know, you know, fight and take America back. A lot of the same rhetoric we were hearing before January 6th. Um, you know, and, you know, that kind of culminated with him posting a photo of the Manhattan DA and himself holding a bat next to the photo. And he's been kind of toned down since that. I wonder if his lawyers told him that he wasn't helping himself. But, um, you know, those, those threats are real. And, you know, we all need to be really conscious of the, the ongoing threats to judges and district attorneys that exist anyway. But, uh, it seems like. His supporters have have taken that too, too hard and have been extremely vocal.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: Finally then, uh, mark and Sarah, what are you both looking for in the coming days, weeks, months, geez, even years.

Mark_Trump Incictment_Processed: Well, uh, Well, uh, The first thing is what's in that indictment? Uh, what are the details? What is the case that they're bring? Against the former president. Like I said before, I, you have to believe that Alvin Bragg thinks that he's got a strong enough case. But as Sarah suggests, really this is the weakest of the cases.

Arguably the least consequential. I mean, it's Simi and it's sorted and it's icky, but we're not talking about overturning an election, I think. So what I'm looking is what happens with the grand juries in Georgia? What happens with the investigation in Mar-a-Lago and the January 6th events and what happens with Republican voters who again, are rallying.

Right now by Donald Trump's side, but I, I have the feeling a lot of them are just really ready to move on. You know, people talked a lot about Clinton fatigue. Um, I, I think we're, we're, I think we're seeing Trump fatigue, uh, uh, many times over. Uh,

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: I, I have to agree with Mark. I I mean, I know that a lot of people within Trump world are seeing this as a positive and saying that, you know, it's going to hand him the election, but you know, how does that actually play out in people who have to go into the ballot box and vote? Um, I, I don't wanna make any kind of speculation to that, but I'm gonna be really closely watching to see, you know, what the result is.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: I know this sounds cheesy, but what does an indicted former president say about the state, the health of American democracy?

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: Honestly, it's probably a symbol of the healthiest democracy you can have that a former president is being held to the same standard as other Americans. Uh, we've heard a lot about, you know, oh, this is you know, now a third world country and a banana republic, but you know, there have been countries all over the world.

you know, Prominent, you know, European countries, Asian countries, Latin American countries that have brought charges against former leaders, and they're still democracies. And when you look at the number of governors and senators and representatives who have faced charges after leaving office the government, and the government, the United States is still standing.

I can't believe this is gonna bring the downside of democracy.

Mark_Trump Incictment_Processed: Yeah, I, I, I, I, I think Sarah put it well,  I mean, it's, it's, sort of it's sort of hackneyed, but it, it's true. This shows that no one, not even a former president of the United States is against the law, and, excuse me, I'm gonna say that again. it, it, it may be a little hackneyed and it's been said many times before, but it shows that no one, not even a former president of the United States is above the law.

And I think it would've been much worse if prosecutors prosecutor had tiptoed up the line and said, you know what? We think there's evidence of a crime here, but we really shouldn't do it because we're talking about a former president of the United States. I, I think, I think it's, as Sarah suggested, a, a very.

Good and healthy thing for our democracy. And ultimately it'll go before a jury of the former president's peers, and they will do, they will decide, and that's how our system works.

Gustavo_Trump Incictment_Processed: Sarah, mark, thank you so much for this conversation.

Mark_Trump Incictment_Processed: Thanks, Colonel.

Sarah_Trump Incictment_Processed: Thank you.

Break 3

Gustavo: And that's it for this episode of The Times essential news from The LA Times, Kasha and David Toledo were the Jefes on this episode, it was edited by Heba Elorbany and Mario Diaz mixed and mastered it. 

Our show is produced by Denise Gera, Kasha Bra, David Toledo and Ashley Brown.

Our editorial assistants are Roberto Reyes and Nicholas Perez. Our fellow is Helen Li. Our engineers are Mario Diaz, Mark Nieto, Mike Heflin. Our executive producers are Jaźmin Aguilera, Shani Hilton, and Heba Elorbani. And our theme music is by Andrew Epan. I'm Gustavo. We'll be back Wednesday with all the news in desmadre.