BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Former President Donald Trump’s day in court making waves on both sides of the aisle, across the country and in Alabama.
Trump’s indictment has been polarizing for Alabama lawmakers, some republicans saying this has not changed their support for Trump in the 2024 presidential election, while some democrats say they’re glad to see Trump is not above the law.
“The man has done wrong so long, he thinks wrong is right,” says Randy Kelley, chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party.
“He’s for the country, I know who he’s for,” says Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville.
Tuesday afternoon, Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records in a Manhattan courtroom. While Trump’s opponents say it’s about time he’s been caught for criminal activity, his supporters say they know it will be an attack every day leading up to the 2024 presidential election.
“It’ll get worse,” says Tuberville. “This is the first indictment, there will be more down the line.”
“He needs to be locked up if he deserves to be locked up,” says Kelley.
The Associated Press reports Trump’s next court date is scheduled for December. Former federal prosecutor Raymond Johnson Jr. says the prosecution had at least a year to prepare the case and it’s likely for the judge to have leniency with the defense to give them a similar amount of time to prepare. Johnson says the trial itself could take several weeks with the number of witnesses and evidence in this “complex” case.
“That would probably cross over into his plans to where he’s going to appear, his campaigning and what he’s going to say and have his mind focused both on his campaigning and on preparing his defense,” says Johnson.
Johnson says selecting a jury could also take a couple weeks as this trial is the first ever against a former president and will be one of the most publicized since OJ Simpson.
“He has first amendment rights and he is a candidate for president so those rights have to be protected so that he can speak and also so that he can run a successful campaign,” says Johnson. “That has to be protected and he is innocent until proven guilty.”
Johnson says because this is the first time a U.S. president has been indicted, not only will Americans be watching closely but people from all around the world.
“He is not liked in New York. He is not liked in Manhattan where this trial would be so therefore, he would not fare well with a jury there,” says Johnson. “There very well may be a motion at some point in time to transfer the trial to another location in the state of New York.”