Will the GOP Use An Indictment to Stop Trump from Winning the Nomination? – Reports from earlier this week noted that an indictment of former President Donald Trump by the Manhattan District Attorney could come as early as Wednesday – but Wednesday came and went, and no arrest took place.
Donald Trump: Heading to Jail?
Of course, it doesn’t mean an indictment won’t happen, but it does reflect the overall eagerness of the mainstream press to, first of all, see Trump arrested and, secondly, get their readers excited about the idea.
Now, sources in various media reports say that law enforcement agencies – local, state, and federal – are preparing for the possibility that Trump could be indicted next week. Five unnamed senior officials claim that law enforcement agencies are discussing the security plans for Manhattan Criminal Court, and the surrounding areas, in case Trump is charged over allegations that he paid “hush money” to controversial porn actress Stormy Daniels.
No charges have yet been filed, and while law enforcement agencies may be preparing security measures, the preparations do not necessarily mean an indictment is imminent.
Nor does it mean that Trump is guilty and that he will ultimately be found guilty in a court of law.
The former president is accused of paying Daniels $130,000 ahead of the 2016 presidential election to prevent her from making claims about an alleged sexual encounter she claims to have had with Trump in 2006.
Could GOP Use an Indictment to Stop Trump 2024?
Many in the GOP would love to see the Donald not run in 2024. Could an indictment help them achieve such a goal?
The answer seems like a flat-out no. If the GOP is to prevent the ex-president from becoming the nominee in 2024, it probably won’t be because Trump turns off Republican voters with an indictment.
In fact, an indictment may light a fire under Trump’s base, appall even some anti-Trump Republicans, and give Trump a boost in the polls that he doesn’t seem to even need at this stage.
Mike Madrid, a co-founder of the anti-trump Lincoln Project, described Trump’s dominance of the Republican 2024 presidential race as “groundhog day.” And, even as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis reportedly prepares his 2024 run, Trump’s lead in the race appears to be growing – at least according to a Quinnipiac University survey released on Wednesday.
According to the poll, Trump has 46% support within the Republican Party compared to DeSantis’ hypothetical 32%. That’s an increase of four percentage points over the same survey conducted in February, and a four percentage point drop for DeSantis.
And, in the time between those two polls, it has become increasingly clear that the Manhattan DA is doing all he can to ensure Trump is charged with…something.
Republican voters know what the Democrats want to do with Trump, and any effort to prevent him from running will likely be met with fierce resistance and support for the former president.
With that in mind, it seems much more likely that if the the Donald is prevented from winning the Republican presidential primary, it will be because of a technicality or intervention from the GOP.
What that intervention might be, however, is unclear.
If Trump is eligible to run, there’s very little the party leadership can do to stop it.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.