HUNTSVILLE, AL. (WHNT) — As the world saw this week former US President Donald Trump is facing felony charges. No former president has ever been in this situation, posing unique challenges for both the prosecution and the defense.
The charges allege Trump falsified business records to cover up hush money payments to a former adult film actress. Along with the New York case, Trump is facing grand jury probes in Georgia and Washington DC.
Former U.S. Attorney for Northern District of Alabama Jay Town says the former president’s public profile creates a unique situation.
“You have a defendant who was the former president of the United States and probably the most famous person in the world,” he said, “and so but the courts have to remain fair and impartial and they need to roll within the law the way they always would.”
Town says the prosecution should let the evidence do the talking.
“I’ve had high profile cases prosecutors everywhere have them and they’re not more difficult but I will say they are more work,” he said. “That’s okay, that’s our system and we have to embrace it as prosecutors and not run from it.”
Trump has continuously made numerous public statements about the New York case, the prosecutors and the judge.
“President Trump is going to say what he’s going to say,” Town said. “He has a first amendment right to say all of those things. He is a candidate for president of the United States right now.”
The former U.S. attorney also said a gag order in the case is probably unlikely.
“I don’t see any judge, if a judge did, I don’t see an appellate panel upholding any type of gag order on the former president,” he said. “I just don’t see how it’s possible in a case like this when you bring an indictment against the former president of the United States and current candidate for President United States in 2024.”
Town is hopeful the strength of the legal system will be proven.
“If there’s prosecutorial overreach here then the system worked, if he’s convicted of a felony then the system worked,” he said. “I would like to have the patience and the where with all and really the intellectual curiosity to let due process play out in this case.”
The next hearing in the New York case is set for early December. This case against Trump is expected to go well into 2024.