And that the GOP still backs this man by and large to run for president is pretty shocking and says a lot about the party for sure – and perhaps our own society as well.
Nothing really seems to shock us anymore.
Look at what Donald Trump has said and done over the years – and he is still the leading candidate for the Republican nomination.
Imagine if, ten or fifteen years ago, someone was trying to run for president, and they were likely on the cusp of being indicted. Maybe I am just getting old, ha.
But it does seem that Donald Trump has a clear path to being indicted.
A recent piece in The Hill just out today states that “New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s latest moves suggest prosecutors are nearing a decision about charging former President Trump in connection with a $130,000 hush payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.”
“If they actually are presenting witnesses, the first thing I said is, ‘Oh, this is real. They’re going for it,’” said Catherine Christian to The Hill for their recent piece. She is a former financial fraud prosecutor for Bragg who was not involved in investigating Trump.
What This Means for Donald Trump
I think many across America would love to see Donald Trump get the perp treatment – the police cars in front of whatever home he is in at the time.
CNN would indeed be tipped off like they were in the Roger Stone case – to capture every move and damage Trump’s political brand as much as they can.
Many would love to see Trump in handcuffs, getting charged with a crime. Period.
But what happens after is my question? That is something we need to consider, as charging Trump is a very risky game.
My strong guess is that Donald Trump won’t quit his 2024 bid – I think he would actually try and fundraise off getting slapped with charges.
He would say the media, the prosecutors, and the Democrats have all conspired together to stop his 2024 bid to get back into the White House.
He would call it a witch hunt that started the day he walked down that golden escalator at Trump Tower in New York City back in 2024.
And, to be fair to Trump, some of that is true. Trump’s penchant for shock-jock politics and saying things that are completely insane means millions of Americans hate his guts and want to see him go down. Many hate the man and want to see him punished for anything at any cost. Many times the hate isn’t even rational.
What Happens After the Charges are Filed?
But what would Trump do in response to being charged? What that all means, of course, is Donald Trump would be on trial while trying to run for president. That means for a year plus, those who hate Trump would be giving the man the one thing that makes him so powerful and why he never fades into the sunset: wall-to-wall media coverage.
Trump has power because the media can’t and won’t stop covering his every move. He is a money machine for them. And he knows it and indeed says the things he says to drive that coverage. He has received billions of dollars in free advertising because of it.
And nothing will ensure he gets the coverage than a trial and a run for president.
Harry J. Kazianis (@Grecianformula) serves as President and CEO of Rogue States Project, a bipartisan national security think tank. He has held senior positions at the Center for the National Interest, the Heritage Foundation, the Potomac Foundation, and many other think tanks and academic institutions focused on defense issues. He served on the Russia task force for U.S. Presidential Candidate Senator Ted Cruz and in a similar task force in the John Hay Initiative. His ideas have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, CNN, CNBC, and many other outlets across the political spectrum. He holds a graduate degree in International Relations from Harvard University and is the author of The Tao of A2/AD, a study of Chinese military modernization. Kazianis also has a background in defense journalism, having served as Editor-In-Chief at The Diplomat and Executive Editor for the National Interest.