HomePoliticsMAGA voters say an indictment would help Trump's 2024 presidential bid

MAGA voters say an indictment would help Trump’s 2024 presidential bid

An indictment could boost former President Donald Trump’s chances of winning the GOP nomination in 2024.

At least that’s the view of Trump supporters who spoke to NBC News at a rally Monday in Davenport, Iowa — where the calendar’s first nominating contest is being held.

“I think it helps him,” Allen Hockemeyer, a 78-year-old farmer from Waterloo, Iowa, said of the criminal investigations into Trump in Manhattan, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. “They’re all crooks.”

In a post on his Truth Social media platform Saturday, Trump predicted he would be charged Tuesday in a New York case involving alleged hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. A Trump spokesman told NBC News that the former president was not notified of a possible indictment, but based his comments on “illegal leaks” from prosecutors.

Whatever effect an indictment or conviction might have on Trump’s hopes of winning the 2024 general election, his number one priority is rallying Republicans to clinch the nomination. He has a lead in most national polls, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – who has not announced a bid – standing out as the strongest challenger in the early stages of the race.

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“It just gives the base even more energy. This definitely helps President Trump go to a primary,” a Washington-based Republican operative said in a phone call Saturday afternoon. “I’m not so sure what it does in a general.”

The agent noted that there is a faction of the GOP that thinks Trump would already struggle to defeat a Democrat and is looking for an alternative.

“That’s what the party is currently struggling with,” he said.

Some prominent Republicans quickly came to Trump’s defense on Saturday, an indication that they are not afraid of political backlash if they stand by him.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., called the potential indictment an “outrageous abuse of power” by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and pledged to use congressional committees to investigate whether “federal funds are being used to undermine our democracy by interfering in elections”. with politically motivated prosecutions.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene, R-Ga., a close ally of Trump, wrote on Twitter that Democrats “idiotswho “seal their own fate” with the “political arming” of the legal system against Trump.

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The top prosecutors in Manhattan and Fulton County, Georgia, are Democrats. At the federal level, Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating the January 6 uprising 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 a political boon in the prospect of impeachment: He sent out fundraising calls on Saturday, via text and email, in response to his Truth Social posts.

Traci Walters, a 52-year-old accountant from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, suggested Monday that Trump is uniquely suited to prosper politically despite legal challenges.

“FAKE!” she blurted out before a question about the investigations could be finalized, adding that she is “not at all” concerned that he could be hurt by lawsuits.

“He’s been under the microscope for how many — what, 6, 7, 8 years now — they’re not finding anything,” Walters said, describing himself as “100 percent” for Trump in the GOP primary. “I mean come on, who could survive that, right?”

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Ernie Morgan, 52, of Muscatine, Iowa, expressed a similar sentiment about the specter of impeachment charges against Trump.

“I don’t put much credence in that because it’s unproven, it’s baseless at this point,” he said, sitting with his wife and two kids at the back of the Adler Theater in Davenport for Trump’s speech on Monday .

“There have been so many cases in the past where charges have been filed, and they never seem to materialize,” Morgan said. “So I think with his proven track record he would be my man in ’24.”

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com



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