I spoke to the New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman for an item that ultimately ran in David Leonhardt’s The Morning newsletter wherein they examined the political impact of the rumored legal proceedings that could be forthcoming against the former President as soon as this week.
In the short term, an indictment seems likely to help Trump politically. It will draw attention to him, and he often performs best when he has a foil.
As our colleague Maggie Haberman told us: “I do think an indictment, if it happens, will galvanize his supporters. He will describe the case as trivial, a point some Democrats have argued, and he will insist it’s all part of a broader Democratic Party conspiracy against him to help President Biden in his re-election effort. He’s already fund-raising off it, and he will make selling this to his supporters as another instance of him being victimized central to his campaign.”
When Maggie asked Liam Donovan, a veteran Republican strategist, for his view, he made a different but related point: An indictment may help Trump in the primary and hurt him in a campaign against Biden. “Legal escalation would be a significant blow in a general election where he needs to broaden his support, but any event that polarizes the primary in terms of pro- or anti-Trump sentiment only serves to harden his core support,” Donovan said.
Read the full piece here.