The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Trump criminal indictment puts the nation on a perilous path

By Dan Balz

09 Jun 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

  1. Donald Trump has been indicted by a federal grand jury, making him the first former president to face criminal charges.

Throughout his career, Donald Trump has reveled in breaking norms. He behaved in ways no aspirant for the presidency had ever dared, then in the White House exhibited conduct that violated the values and traditions of the nation's highest office. Now it may have caught up with him. Today he wears the most ignominious of labels: the first former president ever indicted in a criminal case.

The indictment handed up by a federal grand jury represents an extraordinary moment in the legal and political history of the United States, one that carries as much risk to the Justice Department and by implication the administration of President Biden as it does to Trump. Special counsel Jack Smith, who led the investigation, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, who allowed the indictment to go forward, have put the country on a perilous path, but it was Trump himself who helped force the prosecutor's hand.

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