Trump indictment? Possibility throws wrench into campaign plans

Trump indictment? Possibility throws wrench into campaign plans

by Brett Samuels - 03/11/23 6:00 AM ET

Former President Trump leaves the stage during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., on Saturday, March 4, 2023.

Former President Trump is reportedly on the brink of facing charges related to a hush money payment during the 2016 campaign, throwing a wrench into the nascent 2024 GOP presidential primary.

Trump has already said in interviews that he plans to continue his campaign for the presidency even if he is indicted, and he was defiant in posts on Truth Social late Thursday that made clear he was undeterred by the latest specter of criminal charges.

But a possible indictment in New York would be another blow for Trump, whose extensive legal woes already has some Republican voters and leaders suggesting it may be time for the party to move on to a candidate with less baggage.

“Given all the unknowns right now, it’s far too early to know the political impact,” said Alex Conant, who worked on Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) 2016 campaign.

“That said, it’s hard to see how this is a positive for Trump,” added Conant, who now works with Firehouse Strategies. “At a minimum, it’s a distraction from the relatively well-disciplined campaign he’s run in recent weeks. It will remind a lot of voters about the chaos that they really disliked during his administration.”

The New York Times reported Thursday that the Manhattan district attorney’s office has signaled to Trump’s lawyers that he could appear before a grand jury next week, a strong indication that the former president could face criminal charges over a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet an alleged affair during the 2016 campaign.

A conviction would not be assured, but a decision to charge a former president and current candidate for president would be a significant step from district attorney Alvin Bragg.

Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels, and in a lengthy statement late Thursday denied any wrongdoing while casting the probe in Manhattan as the latest in a slew of politically motivated investigations into his conduct.

“This is a political Witch-Hunt, trying to take down the leading candidate, by far, in the Republican Party while at the same time also leading all Democrats in the polls, including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Trump wrote.

“It is appalling that the Democrats would play this card and only means that they are certain that they cannot win at the voter booth, so they have to go to a tool that has never been used in such a way in our country, weaponized law enforcement,” Trump added.

The prospect of criminal charges is just the latest case of legal issues hovering over Trump and his 2024 bid, which some have speculated was launched last November in part to try and stave off an indictment.

The Fulton County District Attorney in Georgia is investigating whether Trump interfered in the 2020 election, and experts believe that probe could be the first one to bring charges against the former president. Portions of a grand jury report in that investigation were made public last month.

A Justice Department special counsel is simultaneously investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, including the events of Jan. 6, 2021, when pro-Trump rioters violently stormed the Capitol, as well as whether Trump mishandled classified documents after dozens of sensitive materials were found last year at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

Trump and his team have been unflinching in arguing that the pileup of legal threats will only harden support among his most loyal backers, who represent enough of the Republican primary electorate that it could even be enough to win in a splintered field.

“It’s only going to embolden a lot of his supporters,” one Republican strategist said. “With a lot of Trump supporters, you’ve gone through the Russia hoax, you’ve gone through so many different impeachments, so when he is targeted like that it causes a lot of people to double down.”

Trump himself told reporters at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this month that he “won’t even think about leaving” the 2024 race if he’s indicted.

And national polls still largely show Trump garnering the most support among declared and potential 2024 presidential candidates, with only Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) coming close or surpassing him in some surveys.

But there are signs the party may look to move past Trump even if he won’t bow out himself.

Republican strategists have for months raised concerns that Trump may be the only GOP candidate who could lose to President Biden in a general election due to concerns about his conduct and character.

DeSantis has seen his star rise in the last few months since his resounding reelection victory in November, and he is making the rounds in early voting states as he moves closer to a 2024 campaign of his own.

Ken Cuccinelli, a former Trump administration official, launched an outside group to draft DeSantis into the 2024 race, and former Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), who Trump backed for a 2018 Senate run, tweeted Friday in support of DeSantis launching a presidential bid.

A poll of Iowa voters released Friday underscored the party’s Trump problem at its core.

The poll of 805 Iowans, including 257 self-identified Republicans, found 80 percent of them hold a mostly favorable or very favorable opinion of Trump, a higher rating than any other potential GOP presidential candidate. Seventy-five percent said they had a very or mostly favorable view of DeSantis.

But the poll also showed that Trump’s grip on the party may not be as iron-clad as it once was. Forty-seven percent of Iowa Republicans said they would definitely vote for Trump if he became the party’s presidential nominee, down from 69 percent in June 2021.

“Iowa is where the competition starts,” pollster J. Ann Selzer told The Des Moines Register of the data. “And someone who has already held the office and who won the state twice would be presumed to be the front-runner, and I don’t know that we can say that at this point.”

Come on man !! We all know Trtump paid her for a little pee session SO WHAT ? Didn’t tiger Woods have several non-discloser agreements so he could pork white women ?
This will be the end of the GOP because we all know Trump will not go away but throw the election into a landslide for the rotten demoRATS ! Can you hear the name calling already ?

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Wait for the first debate. Who knows if the Yale boy turns in to Jeb bush. Or if he runs.
If he loses to trump it’s over for him.

Only fanatics like you will support Trump at this point.

Im waiting for the first debate. But im definitely leaning trump. Why wouldn’t I?

Being serious: what is it that you find so appealing about Trump over any other candidate?

I voted for him twice. I don’t hate him. I also don’t think he is viable at this time, as a candidate. If he were to win the primary, I would probably vote for him, yet again.

Trump is brash, confident, strong, opinionated and in your face. Alll things I appreciate. He is also childish, petulant, boorish, infantile, narcissistic and immature. All things I dislike.

He moves the needle in the wrong direction, IMO. He has multiple problems/alligations/law suites against him… things that don’t bode well in his favor. Most of America doen’t like him. Why do you think he will win? What is it that makes you think so highly of him?

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Trump is talking about creating ten new cites, deporting all illegals ending the war, he has a history being successful, he was cheated, attacked, defrauded.

Hey fucking boomer haven’t you ignored enough wrong doing?
Haven’t you had enough taking it on the cheek! You coward! Stand up and fight for the next generations, you boomer punk!

Stop living comfortably! Give back you selfish tard!

Interesting response. I have been one of the only people on this forum that has tried to converse with you… understand you/where you are coming from. I’m done being understanding. You are just like your petulant idol… childish, narcisssistic and immature. Fuck you! You just made another enemy. Congratulations.

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I’m not on here for a companion, I’m on here to talk politics, current events,
If you can’t acknowledge I live in a city destroyed by what ever you want to call it, democrats, boomers, bad policies, immigration, etc. I’m pissed!
Shit ain’t right, we could all be on here talking about common interest, instead we all argue about common shit we agree with. We are all arguing about trump everyone of us are going to vote for him if he’s the nominee. Why not move past that and talk immigration, education, no we have to fight with each other. It’s stupid

Boomers don’t have a damn thing to do with your shitty city. You act like you are the only one here that is living in a city that sucks because of Liberals…lol. You poor little POS!

Trump is a fucking POS! He served a purpose for a minute. He’s done! You need to grow the fuck up!

YOU are the one that won’t move past Trump and talk about the things you mentioned. You live, eat sleep fucking Trump! FUCK Trump!

I agree that fighting with each other is stupid. YOU are the one that perpetuates the fighting… not anyone else on here.

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Because I win doesn’t mean I perpetuate anything. And you boomer have no room to talk about politics today, you had your chance with national acts, immigration, actually staying in cities like Boston NYC, Chicago, instead you moved out gave our culture centers up

Because you win??? :rofl: Sure… okay.

Again: what is your own shitty generation doing to fix a damn thing? Blaming me solves nothing. show me how superior your generations is… fix something… anything!

You let it go, there is no return, we have seen the most entitlement programs under your watch, you can’t reverse that. Question is what are you going to do?

What am I going to do? Live the rest of my life as best as I can.

Not a damn thing happened under MY watch. I had no say in anything that happened. I have no say in anything that happens from here. YOU are still young. What are YOU going to do to fix anything??? This should prove interesting…lol.

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Shit we are all
Getting out in jail now because of your coward generation

Huh??? What the hell are you babling about?

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Yeah you don’t know lol typical

Yea… typical response when confronted with your own ignorance.


You don’t know Americans are getting thrown in jail for protesting? Because you boomers fcuked this country up? You really want to continue? I can all day and nite. Wake up boy, I’m here to remind you

Yea… I fucked this country up…lol. You are an insigificant fuck head. You do nothing other than blather on about, well… nothing. I have no use for you from here on. Yell at someone else that might give a fuck…lol. Bye now.