Is This How Trump Ends Up in Jail?
His hush payments to Stormy Daniels and subsequent cover-up are hardly his biggest crimes, but the Manhattan D.A.’s invitation for Trump to testify suggests he may be indicted for them.
Finally, after decades, the law might be catching up with Donald Trump. The invitation to him to testify next week from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg signals, according to many reports, that Bragg’s investigation into the Stormy Daniels matter is winding down and that an indictment of Trump may be imminent. The indictment would be for breaking election and business record laws by allegedly paying $130,000 in hush money to Daniels and subsequently covering it up.
Not his biggest crime, by a long shot. I’d rank it about fifth at best (fomenting an insurrection, accepting foreign help during a campaign, ordering a state official to “find” 11,780 votes, all the tax stuff over many decades, for starters). But even so, a felony.
Trump denies it, of course. He claims he had no interest in Stormy Daniels (whom he refers to as “Horseface”). It’s all a “Witch-Hunt,” like all the other hoaxes. His statement mentioned George Soros, the “Radical Left media,” Hunter Biden, and violent crime (although not the violent crimes allegedly committed by him, as in against his first wife and E. Jean Carroll).
The law grinds slowly. Politics, however, like Niagara Falls, never stops. So what are the politics of this? It likely has a marginally positive impact for Trump in a GOP presidential primary. It gives him another target, something else to whine about. I doubt his opponents will really be able to attack him over it; they’ll just sound like they’re defending the corrupt, Soros-backed, radical-left deep state.
One little-examined question, however, is whether an indicted Trump draws an anti-Trump Republican primary vote to the polls. For example, there are about 5.3 million registered Republicans in Florida. In the 2016 primary (the most recent competitive one), about 2.3 million people voted. That’s not bad, for a primary. Still, it means 57 percent of Republicans didn’t vote, and we can reasonably assume, because all the political science says so, that the primary voters were more extreme ideologically than nonvoters. So if half a million or so less-MAGA-oriented Republicans come out in a primary to vote against Trump, he loses. He maybe loses in that state to Ron DeSantis anyway, but the basic formula repeats elsewhere.
Anyway. Just reading his crazy statement is a chilling reminder of what life was like when we had to pay attention to that maniac every day. He’s just the most poisonous person ever. What a joyous day it would be if he were actually hauled off to a jail cell.