By Chris Katje
With multiple cases building against Trump heading into the 2024 election, could a third indictment finally impact his reelection odds?
After two previous criminal indictments this year, Trump said Tuesday that he received a target letter from Special Counsel Jack Smith related to a grand jury investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, as reported by The New York Times.
Details remain scarce on potential charges that could come from an investigation into whether Trump obstructed the transfer of power to Biden in the 2020 election.
The Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol came during Trump’s final weeks in office at a time when Congress was certifying electoral college votes following the election of President Joe Biden.
As news broke of a potential third indictment, Trump’s GOP challengers spoke out mostly in support of Trump or in criticism of the country’s legal process, instead of taking the opportunity to go on the attack against their political foe.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who served under Trump, said he doesn’t believe Trump should face indictment over the events on Jan. 6.
“My hope is that a judgement about the president’s actions on Jan. 6 would be left to the American people,” Pence said. “History will hold him to account for his actions that day.”
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy spoke out in opposition of a potential indictment of Trump related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, calling it a “bad idea.”
“I think he should be held accountable at the ballot box, not at the behest of a federal administrative police state,” Ramaswamy said. “I think it is a bad idea for this country to make a pattern out of using police power to indict a lead political opponent in the middle of an election.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who trails Trump in the polls, also dismissed the need for a third indictment against the former president.
“I don’t think it serves us good to have a presidential election focused on what happened four years ago in January,” DeSantis said. “I hope he doesn’t get charged.”
Presidential candidate and former Trump ally Chris Christie used the recent news item as a way to attack Trump, saying the “conduct on January 6th proves he doesn’t care about our country & our Constitution,” as reported by Politico.
Trump became the first former president to face criminal charges earlier this year when he was arraigned in April on charges related to a hush money payment made to an adult film star. In June, Trump pleaded not guilty to a second set of criminal charges in federal court that are tied to classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago residence.
Trump has falsely maintained that he won the 2020 election and that he should have remained in office. If Trump is indicted in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, it could impact the timing of his other trials.
The trials could also impact Trump’s availability for presidential debates and on the campaign trail for the 2024 election.
The questions posed by Politico Wednesday range from whether political opponents will use a third indictment as ammo for an attack to whether support could actually grow for the former president as he faces more legal challenges. Politico also questioned what it would take for opponents to launch an attack at Trump, if a third criminal case does not do the trick.
“It seems like each indictment has only gotten him more support,” a senior adviser for a rival presidential campaign told Politico anonymously.
Trump has seen his support among potential voters rise in election polls after his indictment. The former president has also seen campaign funding increase around the indictment announcements, as his supporters become more vocal with their voices and wallets.
The Politico report also suggests that Trump opponents may be waiting to see Trump land in jail before speaking out.
It’s worth noting that Zenger News previously highlighted a provision in the SPAC merger set to take Trump Media & Technology Group public with Digital World Acquisition Corporation (NASDAQ: DWAC). Under the terms of the deal, Trump would maintain his ownership and control over the company in the event of “running for public office” or being “personally convicted of a felony criminal offense.”
Going forward, it is now possible that both of the items described as material events in the SPAC merger agreement could occur.
Digital World Acquisition shares are trading at $13.61 on Wednesday, up 3.26% on the day. Shares have traded between $12.34 and $33.50 over the last 52 weeks and are down 14% year-to-date in 2023.
© 2023 Zenger News.com. Zenger News does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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Edited by Arnab Nandy