U.S. President Donald Trump could be facing indictment as early as January 21, a legal expert says.
Danya Perry, a former state and federal prosecutor, told NPR that the immunity he has enjoyed thanks to being in the White House will expire as soon as Joe Biden is sworn in. With a number of potential investigations into both Trump and his business interests, the screws could turn quickly, Perry said.
“Clearly, the president enjoyed immunity when he was in office,” she said.
“And it’s possible, as a matter of law, that he could be indicted on Jan. 21.”
While the report noted that there was no indication Trump would face any specific indictment, he is expected to encounter heightened legal scrutiny after spending the last four years under what it referred to as “de facto immunity” thanks to a policy of the Department of Justice not to indict a sitting president.
“His legal risks increase immeasurably come Jan. 21, both on the civil and the criminal side,” Perry said.
The report pointed out some potential investigations that could snag Trump, including the one that already landed his former personal lawyer behind bars. Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to taking part in a scheme to pay off women who had accused Trump of having affairs with them while he was married and shortly after the birth of his youngest son. The payments had not been reported, and Cohen admitting to making the hush money payments to keep the revelations from coming out during the 2016 presidential race, amounting to a violation of campaign finance laws.
Trump had been named in court documents as part of the scheme as well, and Cohen later said in testimony to Congress that he made the payments at the behest of Trump.
Other experts have long predicted that Trump could be indicted as soon as he leaves office. As The Inquisitr reported, even former Special Counsel Robert Mueller appeared to confirm that the reason he did not face indictment after the conclusion of the Russia investigation was the rule against indicting a sitting president.
While there are other potential criminal investigations, he could face civil suits as well. As the report noted, Trump has been accused of sexual assault by a number of women, and two have filed defamation lawsuits. He has maintained his innocence both in these and other cases, saying that the investigations are part of a politically motivated witch hunt against him.