An indictment could boost the chances of Donald Trump winning the GOP nomination in 2024.
Allen Hockemeyer, a 78-year-old farmer from Waterloo, Iowa, said of the criminal investigations into Trump in Manhattan, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Trump predicted in a post on his Truth Social media platform that he would be indicted Tuesday over a case in New York involving alleged hush money payments to pornstar Stormy Daniels. A spokesman for Trump told NBC News that the former president has not been notified of a possible pending indictment but based his remarks on illegal leaks from prosecutors.
After an indictment or conviction would affect Trump's hopes for winning the general election in 2024, his first priority is rallying Republicans to capture the nomination. Florida Gov. holds a lead in most national polls. Ron DeSantis, who has not announced a bid, has distinguished himself as the strongest challenger in the early stages of the race.
It energizes the base even more. This helps President Trump go into a primary, one Washington-based Republican operative said in a phone call Saturday afternoon. I am not sure what it does in a general sense. The operative said that there is a faction of the GOP that thinks Trump would already have trouble beating a Democrat and is looking for an alternative.
That is what the party is struggling with right now, he said.
Some prominent Republicans were quick to come to Trump's defense on Saturday, an indication that they don't fear political backlash from standing by him.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., called the potential indictment an outrageous abuse of power by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and vowed to use congressional committees to investigate whether federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions. Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene, R-Ga., a close Trump ally, wrote on Twitter that Democrats are idiots who are sealing their own fate with the political weaponization of the legal system against Trump.
The top prosecutors in Manhattan and Fulton County, Ga. are Democrats. The attorney general, Merrick Garland, who works in a Democratic administration, was appointed by the federal level, as special prosecutor Jack Smith, who is investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection and Trump's handling of classified documents.
Trump sent out fundraising appeals Saturday, over text and email, following his Truth Social posts, indicating that he sees a political boon in the possibility of an indictment.
Traci Walters, a 52-year-old accountant from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, suggested Monday that Trump is uniquely suited to thrive politically in the face of legal challenges.
She blurted before a question about the investigations could be completed, saying that she is not concerned that he could be hurt by court cases.
Walters said he was 100 percent for Trump in the GOP primary because he was under the microscope for how many — what, 6, 7, 8 years now — they are not finding anything. Ernie Morgan, 52, of Muscatine, Iowa, expressed a similar sentiment about the specter of charges against Trump.
He said that because of the fact that it's unproven, it's unfounded at this point, he said, sitting with his wife and two children at the back of the Adler Theater in Davenport before Trump's speech Monday.
There's been so many cases in the past where indictments tried to go down, and they never seem to materialize, Morgan said. I think he'd be my guy in '24 with his proven track record.