Skip to main content

What Does an Indictment Mean for Donald Trump?

Donald Trump weakly holds up his fist during a rally in Texas

A New York grand jury has voted to indict former president Donald Trump. Everyone has questions, starting with the most obvious: What does it mean? Here’s what you need to know.

Will Donald Trump be arrested?

An indictment is a criminal charge, so in terms of immediate effects, it means that Donald Trump will be arrested. That’s right: The Donald, owner of the fabled solid gold toilet, will be handcuffed, read his Miranda rights, and brought into custody, where he’ll be fingerprinted, photographed, and processed like any other suspected felon. According to The New York Times, Trump will likely be released while he awaits trial, since he’s accused of a nonviolent crime. Trump’s lawyers have reportedly announced that Trump will surrender himself to the authorities willingly.

Can Donald Trump still run for president?

As for the long term, it’s not immediately clear what effect the indictment will have on Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign. Trump is still allowed to run for president if he’s accused—or convicted—of a felony. The only requirements for someone to run for president is that they are a natural born citizen of the U.S., over the age of 35, and have lived in the U.S. for 14 years. The Constitution doesn’t prohibit someone from running for president if they have a criminal record.

Will he win, though? After the hijinks we’ve seen in American politics over the past few years, it’s hard to say. Having a criminal record normally wouldn’t look great for a presidential candidate. However, Trump’s supporters have demonstrated that they love him no matter how low he sinks, and the indictment could lead them to view him as a political martyr. Plus, recent polls have shown Trump leading over his presumed rival, Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

Why was Donald Trump indicted?

Although Trump is facing multiple potential criminal charges, he’s currently being indicted for his role in paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election. He’s the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges.

(via The New York Times, featured image: Brandon Bell, Getty Images)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Julia Glassman (she/they) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at