An indictment could increase the chances that former President Donald Trump wins the GOP nomination in 2024.
Trump supporters spoke with NBC News Monday at a Davenport rally, Iowa. This was the first nomination contest on the calendar.
Allen Hockemeyer, an 78-year old farmer from Waterloo, Iowa, stated that he believes it helps Trump. He also spoke out about the criminal investigations into Trump in Manhattan, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C.
Trump posted Saturday on his Truth Social media platform that he predicted he would face indictment Tuesday in New York in connection to alleged hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels. Trump’s spokesperson told NBC News that Trump had not been notified about a possible pending arrest but that he was relying on “illegal leaks,” which prosecutors provided.
Trump hopes to win a general election in 2024 regardless of any indictment or conviction. His first priority is to rally Republicans for the nomination. He is leading in all national polls with Florida Governor. Ron DeSantis, who has not yet announced his candidacy, is the strongest challenger during the early stages.
It just energizes our base even more. “This absolutely helps President Trump going to a primary,” a Washington-based Republican operative stated in a telephone call Saturday afternoon. “I don’t know what it does in general.”
An operative pointed out that Trump’s defeat would be difficult for some GOP members and that they are looking for alternatives.
He said, “That’s the problem that the party is having right now.”
On Saturday, prominent Republicans quickly defended Trump. This is a sign that they don’t fear any political backlash for standing with him.
Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. House Speaker, called the possible indictment an ” outlandish abuse of power” by Alvin Bragg, Manhattan District Attorney. He vowed that he would use congressional committees in order to determine if “federal funds were being used to subvert democracy by interfering with elections with politically motivated prosecutions.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-Ga.), a close Trump ally wrote on Twitter that Democrats were “idiots” and are “sealing themselves into their own fate” through the “political weaponsization” of the legal systems against Trump.
Democrats are the top prosecutors in Manhattan, Fulton County, Ga. Federally, Jack Smith is the special prosecutor. He is currently investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, Trump’s handling classified documents, and was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Galrland.
Trump may see an opportunity in the possibility of indictment. He sent out fundraising appeals Saturday via text and email following his Truth Social posts.
Traci Walters (52-year-old Cedar Rapids accountant) suggested Monday that Trump is uniquely equipped to succeed politically in the face legal challenges.
Before she could ask a question about the investigation, she said “FAKE!” and added that she wasn’t concerned that he might be hurt by court cases.
Walters stated that Trump has been “under the microscope for how many — what? 6, 7, 8 years now — and they’re finding nothing.” She also said she was “100 percent” for Trump during the GOP primary. “I mean, I mean, how could anyone survive that?
Ernie Morgan, 52-year-old from Muscatine (Iowa), expressed similar views about Trump’s specter of being charged.
He said that he didn’t believe it because it was unproven and unfounded. He was sat with his wife, two children, and sat in the back of the Adler Theater in Davenport, just before Trump’s speech.
Morgan stated that there have been many instances in the past when indictments were attempted to be dropped, but they never materialized. “So, with his track record and proven track record, I believe he would be my guy in 24.