3 Reasons the New York Indictment Could Get Trump Re-Elected, and 3 Reasons it Could Cost Him the Race – After former President Donald Trump announced he expected to be arrested, the billionaire owner of SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter tweeted, “If this happens, Trump will be re-elected in a landslide victory.”
Elon Musk is a genius on many levels. Politics might not be one of them.
Or maybe it is.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s grand jury has been probing whether Trump’s hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged affair before the 2016 election violates campaign finance laws and is a potential business fraud.
It’s an incredibly flimsy charge and brazenly politically motivated.
Here are three reasons why the indictment could lead to another Trump term.
1. Poison the Well for Any Prosecution
Democrats are banking on having so many cases going on at once against Trump; it will soften him up for the political kill even if he’s acquitted.
Anyone who has suffered through the Russia collusion hoax, impeachment obsession, and multiple other investigations, even some Americans most captive to Trump Derangement Syndrome, are rolling their eyes at the Manhattan DA case.
Bragg, a George Soros-backed prosecutor, has a case that since Trump paid $130,000 to his lawyer Michael Cohen and recorded that payment as a legal expense rather than hush money. Even though campaign finance laws generally have a statute of limitations of two years or so, this case is more than six years after the fact.
Even if a partisan New York City jury convicts Trump, there is almost zero chance such a case would survive an appeal.
But other cases may be more legit.
In Fulton County, Georgia, the state prosecutor Fani Willis has been pursuing Trump in an election fraud investigation. Special Counsel Jack Smith was appointed to investigate Trump for both the classified documents and Jan. 6. It could be neither of these prosecutors hit pay dirt. But if they found something legit, certainly of more gravity than the New York case, Bragg’s prosecution would so poison the well in the public domain that no one will pay attention.
This would effectively help Trump as a presidential candidate. Much of the busy public would eventually yawn and view it as time to give up already. Trump’s character—or adherence to the law—would not be an issue. Voters would only consider, perhaps, how their 401ks looked under Trump vs. Joe Biden, and conclude some the Trump drama and chaos wouldn’t look so bad.
“Prior to 2016, if a candidate had a pending or actual indictment, it would be a huge blow to their credibility and almost certainly the end of their candidacy, because we assumed it was legitimate,” former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis argued. “Now, because of the Democrats, no reasonable American trusts the legitimacy of federal law enforcement. Nor should they.”
Ellis has more than a few things to answer regarding claims as Trump’s lawyer after the 2020 elections. But here, she might be very accurate.
2. Democrats Overreach and Overreact
Yay!!! Democrats and the frothing Trump haters won’t be able to hide their glee.
Democrats hated Richard Nixon but were able to act solemnly and sad about the gravity of his resignation. When House Republicans impeached Bill Clinton in 1998, they at least pushed forward an unconvincing case of being solemn and sad about taking such a vote.
Not possible for Trump.
When Democrats impeached Trump, they actually cheered despite then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi trying to wave them down to show decorum.
Good politics here would be for Democrats to say no one is above the law, and let the facts come out and chips fall where they may. We all know Democrats won’t be able to contain themselves. They will demand Trump rot in prison. They will giggle with joy over the indictment to friendly hosts on MSNBC, and even CNN.
This will likely rub enough of the public the wrong way to the point of being unserious and prompt sympathy for Trump—possibly enough to help him win in November 2024.
3. Trump Fundraising Boon
On the money front, it could go either way. But this might be a net plus.
Trump has already written off most of the big-ticket Republican establishment donors. But the surge of support could mean a flood of small donations from grassroots MAGA supporters and true believers.
Trump will be able to self-finance much of his campaign. He’s been effectively raising money since 2021 for a presidential run.
The question is how long this will last. As a general election candidate, the pending indictment could make big donors’ gun shy – particularly if he’s victory seems a long shot.
But as we learned from 2016 when Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush heavily outspent Trump, he can defy expectations.
Then again, there are also reasons the indictment might cost him the election, no matter how unserious.
1. Trump Again Makes History
Regardless of the strength of this case, Trump would be the first former president to be indicted. He was already the first president to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives.
This could be enough history for most Americans, regardless of President Joe Biden’s horrific actions.
For an elected Democrat prosecutor such as Bragg, the motives might be to hurt Trump in the long term and help him in the short term. The party of Biden needs Trump as the GOP nominee.
We learned from the 2022 election that nothing serves the interests of Democrats more than talking about Trump as much as possible. There is a near certainty that an indictment would likely help Trump in a Republican primary, based purely on the apparent injustice.
The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh tweeted that the endgame for Bragg is to help Trump win the nomination.
“They want Trump to be the Republican nominee,” Walsh wrote. “That’s obviously the play here. There is no other conceivable reason to arrest, and perp walk him on a bull**** misdemeanor charge. I might be overestimating the tactical intelligence of the idiot power-hungry hacks behind this. But if there is any political strategy then that has to be it.”
2. Fears of Second Jan. 6
When Trump announced a potential arrest, he posted on Truth Social, “WE MUST SAVE AMERICA! PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST!!!”
It was rather unwise, and just what Democrats want to remind everyone of the Left’s favorite holiday—Jan. 6.
House Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries couldn’t wait. He asserted “Right-wing extremists who fan the flames of political violence with inflammatory rhetoric are not fit to serve.”
Trump’s association with the Capitol riot will haunt him into any general election. At least on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump told the crowd to march “peacefully and patriotically.” He didn’t provide such caveats this time. Perhaps he didn’t think it necessary. But if there is another incident of violence because boneheaded, unruly Trump supporters, he will be associated with political violence going forward. This would likely torpedo even his shot at renomination.
3. Tougher for Republican Aggression
No matter how lame this charge is legally, it’s not good.
Republicans are already in an awkward spot defending Trump and must ensure they are speaking about the legality. Still, this is about an allegation he had an affair with a porn star while married.
To be clear, Trump denies the encounter even happened. And for Trump, $130,000 isn’t a lot to make someone go away. Then again, we have our own notions of Trump’s character. Short of a crime, it’s not impeachable or prosecutable. But it is tawdry.
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Legality aside, this is indefensible moral behavior if true. He could run out of allies rushing to defend him.
Finally, it may not make any difference. Most people may have already made up their mind about Trump. Events will only reinforce their prior notions, and an arrest that will garner so much media attention will at best move voters in only a nominal way.
Barbara Joanna Lucas is a writer and researcher in Northern Virginia. She has been a healthcare professional, political blogger, is a proud dog mom, and news junkie. Follow her on Twitter @BasiaJL.