An indictment could give the former president a boost donald trumpChances of GOP nomination in 2024.
At least, that’s the view of Trump supporters who spoke to NBC News Monday at a rally in Davenport, Iowa — home of the first nominating contest on the calendar.
“I think it’s helping him,” Allen Hockemeyer, a 78-year-old farmer from Waterloo, Iowa, said of the criminal investigations into Trump in Manhattan, Atlanta and Washington, DC. “They’re all frauds.”
In a post on his social media platform Truth on Saturday, Trump said predicted that he would be charged in New York on Tuesday for allegedly paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels. A spokesperson for Trump told NBC News that the former president was not briefed on a possible pending indictment, instead basing his comments on “illegal leaks” from prosecutors.
Regardless of how an indictment or conviction would affect Trump’s hopes of winning the 2024 general election, his top priority is rallying Republicans to win the nomination. he holds a lead in most national pollswith Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – who has not announced an offer – emerging as the main challenger in the early stages of the race.
“It just energizes the base even more. It absolutely helps President Trump get into a primary,” a Washington-based Republican aide said in a phone call Saturday afternoon. “I’m not so sure what it does in general.”
The agent noted that there is a faction in the GOP that believes Trump is already having trouble beating a Democrat and is looking for an alternative.
“The party is struggling with that,” he said.
Some prominent Republicans were quick to come to Trump’s defense on Saturday, an indication they don’t fear a political backlash if they stand by him.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., called the possible indictment a “outrageous abuse of powerby Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, and vowed to set up congressional committees to investigate whether “Federal money is being used to undermine our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated law enforcement.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene, R-Ga., a close Trump ally, wrote on Twitter that the Democrats “idiots’ who ‘seal their own fate’ by ‘politically arming’ the legal system against Trump.
The chief prosecutors in Manhattan and Fulton County, Georgia are Democrats. At the federal level, special prosecutor Jack Smith, who is investigating the January 6 riot and Trump’s handling of classified documents, was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland, who works in a Democratic administration.
An indication that Trump sees the prospect of indictment as a political boon: Following his posts on Truth Social, he sent out appeals for donations via text message and email on Saturday.
Traci Walters, a 52-year-old accountant from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, hinted Monday that Trump is uniquely suited to thrive politically in the face of legal challenges.
“FAKE!” She blurted out before a question about the investigation could be concluded, adding that she was “not at all” concerned that he could be hurt by legal proceedings.
“He’s been under scrutiny for how many years — what, 6, 7, 8 years now — they can’t find anything,” Walters said, describing himself as “100 percent” pro Trump in the GOP primary. “I mean, come on, who could survive that, right?”
Ernie Morgan, 52, of Muscatine, Iowa, made a similar statement about the specter of the indictments against Trump.
“I don’t hold that much faith because it’s unproven, it’s unfounded at this point,” he said as he sat with his wife and two children in the back of the Adler Theater in Davenport ahead of Trump’s speech Monday.
“There have been so many cases in the past where charges have been attempted and they never seem to have materialized,” Morgan said. “Well, I think with his proven track record, he would be my man in ’24.”
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com
Source : news.yahoo.com