OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
While former President Donald Trump may appear to be in a lot of legal hot water, his indictment last week by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has not been all bad for him.
One of the first polls taken following his indictment, for instance, was exceedingly good news for him: According to a survey by Yahoo/YouGov, Trump is leading his closest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, 57 percent to 31 percent – “a huge 26-point lead that triples the previous result of this survey a mere two weeks ago,” Mediaite reported, noting that, “at that time, Trump was ahead of DeSantis by just 8%, at 47% to 39%.”
Trump’s campaign has gotten a financial windfall as well.
According to a statement from the campaign on Friday, the 45th president raised more than $4 million in about 24 hours following news of the indictment.
President Trump Raises Over $4 Million in 24 Hours After Indictment in Alvin Bragg Witch Hunt pic.twitter.com/aRzhv41hvW
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) April 1, 2023
The massive wave of cash follows the Thursday indictment over allegations of campaign finance violations ahead of the 2016 presidential campaign. The charges involve a “hush money” payment of $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels and a $150,000 “catch and kill” payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom claimed they had an affair with Trump at various points in the preceding years. Trump has vigorously denied the allegations by both women.
As for the Yahoo/YouGov poll, not all of the news was good for the former president. When asked, “If Donald Trump is convicted of a crime in this case, do you think he should be allowed to serve as president again in the future?” — just 31 percent said yes, while 52 percent said he should not.
Yahoo added: “When asked if they ‘think Donald Trump did or did not falsify business records to conceal a hush money payment to a porn star,’ less than half of Republicans (48%) are confident that he did not. Another 17% say he did — and a whopping 35% say they’re not sure.”
Bragg, whose campaign was financed in part by left-wing billionaire George Soros, sought to have Trump arraigned in court the following day, but the U.S. Secret Service appeared to nix that.
Fox News reported: “The source told Fox News Digital that Bragg had requested Trump’s surrender to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office by Friday — the day after the indictment — but that timeline was extended due to arrangements needed to be made by Secret Service. The source told Fox News Digital Trump will ‘most likely’ surrender on Tuesday. Typically, a defendant who surrenders in a nonviolent case would surrender to a central booking location, legal experts have explained. However, special accommodations are likely being arranged because this indictment involves a former president of the United States. The Secret Service and the New York Police Department are expected to play a large role in the process next week.”
Several leading Republicans were highly critical of the indictment, including DeSantis. He announced on Thursday night that the state would not cooperate with any request to extradite Donald Trump after the former president was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury.
“The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head. It is un-American,” DeSantis tweeted.
“The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent. Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda,” he added.
“They just indicted President Trump. Unfortunately for them, this will only make him…stronger. I didn’t think I could possibly support him more, but this political Witch Hunt only strengthens our resolve to fight. We’ve got your back, Mr. President,” 2022 Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who has been mentioned as a potential Trump running mate, tweeted.
During an interview Thursday evening with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said he had spoken to Trump earlier following news of the indictment.
“Remember, Soros gave Alvin Bragg a million dollars. We’re used to seeing these things. Government printing money till it goes out of style in third world countries, and that’s being visited in the United States of America. I spoke with President Trump moments ago, and he’s resolute and concerned about what this does to America’s brand around the world,” Gaetz said.
“We will wake up in a very different America because we can no longer have moral authority against the dictators who would always find it easier to jail their political rivals than to compete against them in free and fair elections. I remember my Democrat colleagues about Comey making derogatory comments about Clinton before the election. This must ring a thousand times louder to them. I believe there are federal equities at play that the United States Congress is about to evaluate,” Gaetz added.