When I was in journalism school, I did not imagine that I would one day work on a story about the indictment of a U.S. president. Or the indictment of a former president.

But as the various local, state and federal investigations into former President Donald Trump progressed, an indictment looked likely enough that editors on our Politics and Society desk decided to work with scholars to prepare stories for if, or when, that happened.

And yesterday, that grave moment arrived. The news flashed through our phones, computers, TV screens and radios: A Manhattan grand jury had voted to indict Trump for as-yet-unknown charges related to hush money paid to a pornographic film actress right before the 2016 election.

We offer two stories today that delve into different aspects of the indictment. Constitutional law scholar Stefanie Lindquist of Arizona State University explores “the consequences of an indictment and potential trial for Trump’s campaign and, if his effort is successful, his future presidency.” Bottom line, writes Lindquist: It’s hard to campaign or run a country if you’re in court or in jail.

Presidential scholar Shannon Bow O'Brien looks at what the indictment says about the limitations of presidential power, not just what it says about Trump. “Throughout history,” she writes, “many presidents have pushed the boundaries of power for their own personal preferences or political gain. However, Americans do have the right to push back and hold these leaders accountable to the country’s laws.”

Also today:

Naomi Schalit

Democracy Editor

Former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Trump indictment won’t keep him from presidential race, but will make his reelection bid much harder

Stefanie Lindquist, Arizona State University

With a grand jury indictment of former President and current presidential candidate Donald Trump, a legal scholar explores what the law says about the consequences of such an unprecedented act.

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