‘I worry for the times ahead’

Panel voter

Panel voter

The historic criminal case against former US President Donald Trump seems likely to further entrench the partisan divide in an already deeply polarized nation.

Ahead of his court appearance next Tuesday, voters have been sharing with the BBC their strongly felt reaction to the first prosecution of a former president.

Whatever their political affiliation, most of our voter panel agreed that the unprecedented case left the US in uncharted waters.

Jim Sullivan

Jim Sullivan

This is an excellent example of the politicization of the judiciary. It’s a huge mistake. Banana republic style vintage. It’s, in my opinion, totally undermining our rule of law and sets the US up for real trouble ahead. It’s a huge mess and completely destructive.

This action taken by the New York district attorney destroys any respect for the rule of law that many in the public had. It does not inspire trust or confidence in our system. It is very worrisome.

Again, can’t stress it enough – it’s a huge mistake and the ramifications are going to be deep and far reaching. I worry for the times ahead in our country. We’re heading into turbulent times and our institutions and customs will be tested like we’ve never seen before. I hope our republic can survive – all because of a vindictive and petty, hypocritical step by a ‘smallish’ prosecutor in New York.

Isaih Reeves

Isaih Reeves

This is one of many things that he should be charged with, and more presidents should be charged with more wrongdoing than just Trump.

I think that denying the prosecution of a public or political figure is itself an inherently political move. Presidents should absolutely be held to the same – or higher standards – of public scrutiny and lawful consequences.

He should absolutely face the prosecution. I genuinely think that the battle lines in the country have already been drawn. I think that people have made up their minds about Trump. They love him or hate him and I don’t see that changing.

Crystal Myers-Barber

Crystal Myers-Barber

I feel they want to put a ‘stain’ on Donald Trump’s character – as no other president has been criminally charged in our US history.

I am surprised that they actually indicted him. This looks very bad for our country and for Trump to run in 2024. The news will focus on this more than anything that Trump has accomplished, and it will have a negative impact on Trump’s run for 2024.

I’m saddened to see this happen and do not agree with the Manhattan jury. I hope Trump can pick a good running mate – he is going to need it.

Karen Kemp

Karen Kemp

These are indeed uncharted times we are embarking on. Living in the New York area, we are a bit on guard but overall I believe these growing pains are necessary for us as a country to affirm who we are – a country where no-one is above the law.

It’s hard to find a person who believes the former president didn’t break laws, they simply debate whether he should be charged, which in itself says a lot about the vulnerability of our democracy right now.

Rom Solene

Rom Solene

For me, it’s a naked and blatantly gross breach of responsibility by the Manhattan district attorney that goes beyond anything I’ve ever witnessed in my life. It is an embarrassment that in this country, things have gotten to the point where an extreme stretch in interpretation of the law could be used in an attempt to take out a political opponent.

This is the stuff of banana republics and countries that have been or are under the control of dictatorial power. Moreover, I think the Manhattan district attorney, with all that is on his plate with regards to crime in his jurisdiction, is so out of touch to want to go after a former president instead of focusing on the immediate needs of his electorate.

I predict this will come back to haunt Biden in the 2024 election cycle that is just now getting underway – look for Republicans to pull all the stops going after the president and his son in their investigations.

Nuha Nazi

Nuha Nazi

I’m glad that the law applies to everyone. I look forward to him having to answer for himself and let a jury decide. I’m comfortable letting the system do its job.

I’m also really sad that this day has come to the US. The fact that this took a long time to happen is good – this wasn’t some rush to achieve a pre-defined objective. I’m also hoping Trump is healthy at least long enough to see this to its conclusion.

I also think that if Trump could watch Michael Cohen get convicted for the campaign finance crimes he committed to him, it would likely make it easier to prove that there was in fact a federal crime connected to the money. I’m sure Cohen will feel vindicated.

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