Trump’s indictment shows America is joining ‘some of the most advanced democracies,’ NYT reporter argues

One New York Times reporter says the vote by a Manhattan grand jury to indict former President Trump shows America is aligning itself with "some of the most advanced democracies."

A New York Times reporter suggested Thursday the indictment of former President Trump signals that America is aligning itself with “some of the most advanced democracies” who have taken legal action against former political leaders.

Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent for the New York Times, made the suggestion in a news analysis piece titled “A President Faces Prosecution, and a Democracy Is Tested.”

“Locking up former leaders on specious, politically driven charges may be common in the world’s autocracies, but some of the most advanced democracies have not shied away from putting their leaders on trial for crimes,” Baker wrote in the article.

Furthering his point, Baker cited a handful of countries where political leaders have been faced with repercussions for alleged crimes, including Israel and Italy.


“In Israel, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spent more than a year in prison for bribery, fraud and other charges while the incumbent prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is currently on trial on similar charges,” Baker stated. “In Italy, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who just regained some power as part of a governing coalition, has faced 35 criminal court cases during his long career, although he was definitively convicted just once for tax fraud and sentenced to a year of community service.”

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

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Baker’s article came on the same day a Manhattan grand jury – after a years-long investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office – voted to indict Trump, the leading Republican presidential nominee for 2024.


Manhattan District Attorney Alivn Bragg has been investigating Trump for hush money payments made leading up to the 2016 presidential election. These include the $130,000 payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, and the $150,000 payment made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Fox News reported and revealed in 2018 a series of hush money payments made to both McDougal and Daniels, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York and the Federal Election Commission both investigated those payments.

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York opted out of charging Trump related to the Daniels payment in 2019, even as Michael Cohen, a former Trump attorney, implicated him as part of his plea deal. The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021.

Trump reacted to the indictment by slamming Bragg for his “obsession” with trying to “get Trump,” while warning the move to charge a former president of the United States will “backfire” on President Biden.

“This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history,” Trump said in a statement. “From the time I came down the golden escalator at Trump Tower, and even before I was sworn in as your President of the United States, the Radical Left Democrats – the enemy of the hard-working men and women of this Country – have been engaged in a Witch-Hunt to destroy the Make America Great Again movement.”

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

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed reporting.

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