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Trump indictment: What’s next for U.S. presidential election

new york –

The historic indictment of former President Donald Trump plunges the 2024 presidential election into uncharted territory, with the front-runner for the Republican nomination heading to the White House and the notable prospect of facing criminal trials in New York. is rising.

Those expecting the first challenge to Trump were quick to criticize the indictment, acknowledging the former president’s influence over voters who will decide next year’s Republican elections. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, without naming Trump, called the move “un-American.” Former Vice President Mike Pence, whose life was threatened after Trump instigated a riot at the Capitol, told CNN the accusations were “outrageous.”

This stance speaks to a short-term incentive for Republicans to avoid anything that might antagonize Trump’s loyal base. But the indictment raises serious questions about the future of the Republican Party, especially as Trump faces the possibility of additional indictments soon in Atlanta and Washington.

As much as it may inspire his supporters, the turmoil is on the outskirts of a hard-fought state that has abandoned the Republican Party in three straight elections and undermined its hold over the White House, Congress, and key governors. could threaten the position of the Republican Party in

Mr Trump has spent 40 years avoiding this kind of legal peril, and later expressed his confidence again late Thursday, blaming “thugs and radical left monsters”.

“This is an attack on our country like you’ve never seen it before,” Trump said on social media.

Trump is “ready to fight,” his lawyer Joe Tacopina told Fox News.

Trump is expected to appear before authorities next week on charges of paying hush money to a woman who allegedly had extramarital sex during the 2016 presidential election. For now, it’s unclear how the development will affect voters. Polls show Trump remains the undisputed frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination, and his position is unshakable despite widespread press coverage of the expected indictment. .

The Trump campaign and his allies believe the indictment will act as a rallying cry for his supporters, anger his Make America Great Again foundation, raise small donations, and dissuade Trump’s potential rivals. long wanted to put him in an awkward position to have to defend…or risk their wrath.

In fact, the Trump campaign began fundraising shortly after the news broke, sending supporters an email with the subject line “BREAKING: PRESIDENT TRUMP INDICTED” in all caps.

At the first rally of Trump’s 2024 campaign in Texas over the weekend, supporters expressed widespread disgust with the investigation and insisted the case would not affect his odds. .

“Just kidding,” said Patty Murphy, 63, of Fort Worth. “It’s just another way for them to get him out of the way.”

Others in the crowd said that support for Trump has waned since he left the White House, but that the impending indictments felt his anger was justified, so in 2024 he could more likely to support

At the same time, criminal trials are unlikely to help Trump in the general election, especially for independents who are fed up with his constant turmoil. provided entry into alternatives like DeSantis, who has been criticized, but without all his baggage.

However, there was no immediate indication that the party was ready to use the indictment to overtake him. Instead, congressmen and Republicans, including Trump’s rivals, rushed to his defense en masse. In addition to DeSantis, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, who has already announced her candidacy, has accused the indictment of being “more about revenge than justice.” Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is considering running, accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg of “undermining America’s confidence in the U.S. legal system,” sending a fundraising text from The News.

Trump, meanwhile, has tried to turn the public against the incident. In the early hours of March 18, amid reports that New York police were preparing potential indictments, he posted a message on his social media site declaring he would be arrested within days.

Although it never came to pass (and his aides made it clear that it was not based on inside information), Trump has used the time to highlight weaknesses in the widely debated case. , attacked Bragg with a very personal barrage. Racist — attack.

Trump also tried to create a strong atmosphere. On the night of the post, he traveled with his entourage to a college wrestling championship, where he spent hours greeting supporters and taking pictures. On the way home, the assembled entourage boarded his plane to watch the mixed martial arts cage fight.

And last weekend, Trump held a rally in Waco, Texas, to protest the case in front of thousands of supporters.

Those who have spoken to Trump in recent weeks say he is both angry and unconcerned about the prospect of being indicted. The night before he warned, he said he was “optimistic” about the fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago.

In fact, Trump has occasionally denied the seriousness of the situation. He and his aides were caught off guard by Thursday’s news. And while flying home from a rally in Texas, Trump told reporters he believed the case had been dropped.

“I don’t know what will happen, but I can say they don’t have a lawsuit. So from what I understand, they’ve already dropped the lawsuit. I think it’s been dropped.” said.

Still, Trump angrily replied that he could be pressured, even though he insisted he had no complaints.

Aside from the Manhattan case, Trump has been involved in several investigations, including a Georgia investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and a federal investigation into Trump’s mishandling of classified documents. confronting.

It remains unclear how the public will react if Trump faces additional lawsuits, especially if some lead to a conviction and others are dismissed.

No indictment, or even a conviction, will prevent Mr. Trump from running for president or becoming the Republican nominee.

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Associated Press writers Paul Webber of Waco, Texas and Lisa Mascaro of Orlando contributed to this report.


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