With the possible indictment of Donald Trump looming, some Democrats are wary that an indictment may prove to be too legally risky and would aid the former president “short term” by giving him a “big boost” in the Republican primaries.
Trump posted on Truth Social that he expects to be arrested Tuesday on charges related to allegedly paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels months before the 2016 presidential election.
The indictment could elevate Trump’s numbers in the Republican primaries, Brad Bannon, Democratic strategist and president of Bannon Communications Research, told the Daily Caller.
“In the short term, it will be a big boost to Trump. I think if he’s indicted, that will get the Trump loyalists in the Republican base to rally around him, so I think that he will gain in the polls of Republican primary voters, and my guess is he will probably raise a ton of money,” Bannon said.
The Trump “boost” would only serve him in the primaries and would hurt Republicans in the general election due to Independent voters being “tired” of Trump, Bannon continued.
“This indictment will rub Trump in the [Independent voters’] faces, and that helps Joe Biden,” he said. “Trump is going to have a lot of trouble beating Biden, as beat up as Joe Biden is.”
The indictment of the president on charges relating to Daniels may also be legally fraught, as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg would have to tie Trump’s alleged “intent to defraud” to a second crime for the alleged crime to be elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony charge, The New York Times reported. The second alleged crime could be a potential violation of New York State election law, but that tie would be a “novel legal theory for any criminal case,” especially for a former president, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Michael Cohen Apologizes To Stormy Daniels For Silencing Her)
Trump’s alleged crime is “an open-and-shut, books-and-records misdemeanor … Now, to elevate it to a felony is more complicated,” attorney and senior Brookings fellow Norm Eisen said, Axios reported.
Even some of those in Bragg’s office see the case as legally fraught and refer to it as a “zombie” case, former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz — who worked on the Trump probe in 2022 — said, according to Axios. He resigned from his position after Bragg halted the effort to seek an indictment of Trump on charges related to Daniels in 2022.
Trump is also facing criminal investigations related to allegedly pressuring Georgia officials to overturn election results and the potential retention of classified documents, the outlet reported. These cases are “more serious” than the case relating to Daniels, former chair of the Ohio Democratic Party, David Pepper, said.
“[T]here are far more serious crimes for which he should also be held to account,” Pepper tweeted.