President Donald Trump was indicted on March 30, 2023, by a Manhattan Grand Jury following accusations of a payment made before the 2016 presidential election to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress, to keep her from publicly discussing an affair she allegedly had with Trump years prior. This is the first in the political history of the United States that a U.S. President is formally criminally charged.
Will President Trump be publicly arrested with handcuffs tied on his wrists? Prosecutors claimed they were working to coordinate Trump’s surrender, which could happen early next week. However, it was not disclosed whether they intended to seek prison time in the event of a conviction, a development that wouldn’t prevent Trump from seeking and assuming the presidency. The major question then that everyone is asking themselves is whether or not Donald Trump would still be eligible to run for the presidency.
Source: Yahoo Charts
Before diving into the political aspect of his indictment, let us see how this news impacted the stock price of Truth Social, his publicly-traded company. Following the announcement of his indictment, the stock price of Truth Social skyrocketed. The stock price closed at $13.06 on March 30 and opened this morning, March 31st at $14.44 a share. This surge boosted the company’s stock to a 110% increase in pre-market trading. The company’s stock increased because those who support Trump see this indictment as a politically-motivated indictment rather than a serious legal matter. They see it as a conspiracy orchestrated against the former real estate tycoon to prevent him from running for the presidency next year. Thus, this indictment motivated them further to double down on their faith in President Trump. The stock price also increased because traders saw an opportunity to maximize profits from such a political scandal. They reaped the pre-market profits from the assumption that Trump supporters would rally to show their support for their leader, thus it would boost the stock price of his social media company.
According to many sources, this indictment may have no effect on Trump’s eligibility to seek the presidency next year. Indeed, there is no legal impediment to him continuing his presidential campaign while facing criminal charges. President Trump is allowed to run for president while under indictment or even if he is convicted of a crime. In fact, the center-left leaning media source, Politico, believes that this indictment may help him strengthen his position as the potential nominee of the GOP. If Trump can campaign while being indicted, all the discussion in the Republican primaries will be about Trump. This is the perfect strategy for him because the more the media talk about him in the news, the more irrelevant his political opponents become. This indictment will be challenging for Ron DeSantis, who is expected to run in the Republican primaries. President Trump will use this indictment as a weapon to further his case, to present the media and even the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as all parts of the Democratic machine orchestrating a conspiracy strictly against him to bring him down, which in the eyes of the voter, can appear unfair. And this unfairness orchestrated against him will increase people's support for him even further.