Trump’s indictment shows America joining “some of the most progressive democracies,” argues a NYT reporter

A New York Times reporter on Thursday proposed the charges against the former President Trump signals America is aligning itself with “some of the most progressive democracies” that have taken legal action against former political leaders.

Peter Baker, the New York Times’ chief White House correspondent, made the suggestion in a news analysis article titled “A President Faces Impeachment and a Democracy is Tested.”

“Jailing former leaders on flimsy, politically motivated charges may be common in the world’s autocracies, but some of the most progressive democracies have not shied away from trying their leaders for crimes,” Baker said wrote in the article.

To support his point, Baker cited a handful of countries where political leaders have faced consequences for alleged crimes, including Israel and Italy.


Former President Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury Thursday after years of investigation by Manhattan prosecutors. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“In Israel, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has spent more than a year in prison on bribery, fraud and other charges, while incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently on trial on similar charges,” Baker said. “In Italy, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has just returned to power as part of a governing coalition, has faced 35 criminal cases over his long career, despite only having been finally convicted once of tax evasion and sentenced to one year of communal service.”

As for other democratic nations that have targeted political leaders, Baker cited the embezzlement and influence-peddling convictions of former French Presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, respectively. Baker also highlighted the corruption convictions of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye and bribery convictions of former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian.

Baker’s item came the same day A Manhattan grand jury — after a year-long investigation by Manhattan prosecutors — voted to indict Trump, the leading Republican presidential nominee for 2024.


Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg exits the Manhattan Courthouse on March 30, 2023 in New York City.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg exits the Manhattan Courthouse on March 30, 2023 in New York City. (Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Manhattan District Attorney Alivn Bragg is investigating Trump over hush money payments in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, including paying adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 and paying the former Playboy model $150,000 Karen McDougal.

Fox News reported and revealed a number of in 2018 hush money payments to both McDougal and Daniels, and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Election Commission were both investigating these payments.

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York refrained from charging Trump in connection with the Daniels payment in 2019, even though Michael Cohen, a former Trump attorney, implicated him as part of his plea deal. The Federal Electoral Commission also closed its investigation into the matter in 2021.

Trump responded to the indictment by slamming Bragg for his “obsession” with trying to “get Trump,” while warning that the move to impeach a former United States President could “backfire” on President Biden become.

Former President Trump speaks during a rally at Waco Regional Airport March 25, 2023 in Waco, Texas.

Former President Trump speaks during a rally at Waco Regional Airport March 25, 2023 in Waco, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)


“This is political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history,” Trump said in a statement. “Ever since I came down the golden escalator in Trump Tower and before I was sworn in as your President of the United States, the radical left Democrats – the enemy of this country’s hard-working men and women – have been engaged in a witch hunt to destroy the Make America.” destroy the Great Again movement.”

The charges against Trump come amid a separate special counsel investigation into his alleged improper keeping of secret records from his presidency at his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed coverage.

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