Former President Trump appeared morose and quiet in a Miami courtroom, clasping his hands and leaning back in his chair, speaking loudly at times just to say “not guilty” over his handling of classified documents that resulted in 37 federal charges.
Shockingly, this is the second time Trump has been indicted in three months. That doesn’t include a $5 million civil judgment against him for sexual abuse in late April.
Two more criminal investigations loom, trial imminent, Trump continue Become the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
We have some questions. Here are four about next steps and politics in Trump’s legal woes:
1. What will we see from Trump and his team?
Trump and his team seem to find some comfort in the chaos. They’ve been here before – no hero captured, into hollywood The tapes, the mass of allegations, the firing of the FBI Director, the Mueller investigation, two impeachments, top lieutenants who betrayed him or went to jail, election conspiracy, and now two indictments and two criminal investigations.
Most people would be exhausted from continuing to get stuck in it, but not Trump.
Instead, he’s trying to use it as an opportunity.He has insulated himself from such an important Republican base that he is counting on Increase His support in the Republican primary.
Immediately after the court session, for example, Trump took his motorcade to the Palace of Versailles, a famous Cuban-American café in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. This is happy. He joined those present in praying that Communism would not come to American shores, and they sang happy birthday to him. (Today is his 77th birthday.)
That suggested Trump retained political power in some conservative Latino communities, especially in Florida, which has drawn more Republicans under Trump.
He has been raising money for it, using his own picture in fake mugshots posted on his social media sites and emailed to supporters. (For the record: no mugshot was taken; he was not handcuffed; only digital fingerprints were taken.)
Hours after his court appearance, he rallied with donors at a campaign fundraiser in New Jersey. After months of bashing his main Republican rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his team released an ad this week featuring Trump’s take on Biden. .
The idea is to make Trump the presumptive Republican nominee, hoping to eliminate any notion that primary voters would choose someone else.
2. Will other Republicans vying for the nomination continue to let him slip?
But there are still six or seven months until the early nominating states have their say. Rivals have had plenty of time to take advantage of Trump’s legal woes.
If only they.
Most Republicans who oppose him have been trying to walk a delicate line — criticizing the Justice Department while hoping to weigh too heavily on Trump’s myriad charges.
This is a risky strategy. Only a handful of candidates offered direct criticism. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have been harsh critics from the start. Hutchinson said Trump should quit. Former U.S. Attorney Christie called the charges against him “devastating.”
But they have a majority in the party with limited support.
Instead, DeSantis claims the DOJ has double standards. Trump’s former vice president, Mike Pence, echoed the sentiment, having lamented that the Justice Department had been politicized. This is from someone who said that Trump put his life in danger during the riots at the Capitol on January 6th.
Tech entrepreneur and hopeless candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has even tried to get other candidates to sign a pledge to pardon Trump if convicted. He appeared outside a Miami courthouse and made the comments as Trump supporters jeered him, tell him to quit the game.
One notable shift, however, did come from former Trump U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley. After initially pointing fingers at the DOJ’sprosecution overreach’ and accused it of “vendetta politics,” she changed her tone slightly appearance Fox News Monday.
“If this indictment is true, then President Trump is very reckless with our national security,” Haley said (while also criticizing the DOJ).
But why would anyone expect voters to suddenly change their tune if neither his competing candidates nor leaders on Capitol Hill are willing to forcefully oppose Trump collectively?
Trump, the people they voted to represent them in Congress, and the right-wing media convinced them that all these investigations were targeted, political, and baseless — fueling Trump’s disaffected narrative.
3. How will this affect voters?
America’s information echo chambers enable strange political divisions.
Republicans, whose main sources of information come from conservative media outlets, say they trust Trump. But the opposite is true in other parts of the country, including the group of voters that largely determine the election — independents who lean only toward one party or the other.
Swing voters view Trump as toxic, and Republican strategists and pollsters say he is a major reason for the party’s poor performance over the past three election cycles.
That election message didn’t trickle down to other members of the party, though.
“Every time Trump is impeached or indicted, there’s this phenomenon, what I call the ‘Trump rally effect,’ where voters share his grievances in some way,” he said. Republican pollster Sarah Longwell told NPR’s Morning Editionon Monday.
Longwell is not a fan of Trump. But she hosted focus groups of Republican voters and was crystal clear about Trump’s grip on the party.she told morning edition Of the 50 voters she spoke to over several months, only two said another indictment would move them away from Trump.Nineteen said it would make them like it more give him.
That was confirmed in the limited polls after the indictment was released. A CBS/YouGov Poll Twice as many likely Republican primary voters say indictment would change their views, finds for better (14%) than worse (7%). (61 percent said it would not change their opinion of him.)
Republican Rep. Ken Barker said on CNN that if Trump is convicted, “I don’t think, I certainly wouldn’t support a convicted felon in the White House.”
This is sure to be the case for more Republicans, but so far the GOP base doesn’t exist.A CBS poll found that 80% of Republicans said Trump should still be able to be president, even though he has conviction.
A minority of Republicans also said they believed it would pose a national security risk if Trump kept nuclear or military documents, but the other 80 percent said it was serious. This clearly shows a fork in the political road.
one ABC/Ipsos Poll The proportion of those who thought the prosecution was serious rose from 52 percent to 61 percent, compared with New York charges related to hush money paid by Trump to allegedly cover up his affair, the report showed.
More than six in 10 independents said they believed the charges were serious, up from slightly more than half after the New York indictment in April.
There were some changes among Republicans too — 38 percent thought the allegations were serious, up from 21 percent in April.
But, importantly, there is no statistical change in how many people think Trump should or should not be charged. Almost exactly the same after the New York charges — half said he should be charged, a third or more said he shouldn’t.
Half also believed the charges were politically motivated, with independents split, heralding a huge information fight to come.
“The question is, how many more prosecutions will there be,” Longwell asked, “and will Trump be the only one being talked about because of all his legal troubles?”
4. What about those other surveys? How long does all this take?
The New York case is due to go to trial next March, during the busiest time of the primary season.
It is not yet known when the filing case will go to trial, but it will last at least a few months.
In addition, there are two other criminal investigations — a federal probe into Trump’s role leading up to and leading up to Jan. 6, and a probe in Georgia into Trump’s attempt to overthrow the A pressure campaign on the state’s presidential election results.
Reported by WSB-TV Atlanta Members of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia traveled to Miami on Tuesday to prepare to file charges against Trump in their state. Whether charges in the case are expected to be filed within weeks.
The clock is ticking for the Republican primary, but the justice system isn’t necessarily keeping pace with politics.
It has its own agenda, and Trump will do everything in his power to slow it down.
Trump’s team is expected to file a slew of motions aimed at dismissing the cases but also to hold out in the hope that he wins the presidency again and possibly take steps to close the cases and investigations.
One thing is clear — Tuesday’s indictment is not the end of the story.
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