It was, I felt, bound to happen eventually.
Oh, and yeah, POLITICS FOLLOW… BEWARE…!
Donald Trump, former President of the United States, yesterday was indicted by a New York grand jury.
While we don’t know the exact details of the indictment, we do know it revolves around hush money paid to Stormy Daniels, whom Trump supposedly had an affair with and which needed to be covered up during his run up to the previous election. (You can read more details about what is known about the indictment in this article by Devon Kale and presented on CNN.com).
While there are those in Trump’s camp and the Republican party who are today bemoaning this indictment as an abuse of power or some dark attempt at revenge from the “vicious” liberal cabal out there, the reality is that this is the culmination of years of perhaps too careful investigation and deference to Donald Trump.
The roots of this case go back years and Trump’s one-time chief lawyer, Michael Cohen, was found guilty of aiding in this cover up/use of hush money and served time for this crime.
Mr. Cohen would eventually turn on Trump and the irony of this entire situation is that it appears that had Trump paid off Stormy Daniels from a personal account to keep her “quiet” during the presidential election of 2016, none of this would have unfolded as it did.
My understanding of the situation -and I will readily admit to not being a lawyer… or playing one on TV- is that Trump tried to hide the payoff by having Mr. Cohen pay Stormy Daniels then reimbursing said payoff through the presidential campaign funds, which is a no-no.
But I suspect this indictment has more teeth than just this one payoff, if we are to believe the early reports that there may be over 30 alleged crimes listed in the indictment.
Here’s the thing, though: This is very likely only the first of several possible indictments Trump will very likely face in the near future.
Others far more invested in this than I have noted the hush money/Stormy Daniels affair isn’t nearly as “serious” as Trump’s attempts to subvert the election of 2020 or his hand in the January 6th storming of the Capitol or the discovery of Top Secret files at his Mar a Largo residence.
All three of these issues are currently in the hands of various prosecutors and it would not shock me if we start to see more indictments pop up in the coming months… if not earlier.
Which leads us to the upcoming presidential election.
You have Joe Biden already announcing, for all intents and purposes, his desire to seek re-election and, on the Republican side, it appears that Donald Trump is the favorite to be the candidate there.
Which must be making Republicans really nervous.
If more indictments pop up, at what point will Trump’s candidacy be viewed as fatally damaged? So far, the only candidate that seems to get any press outside of Donald Trump is Florida’s current governor Ron DeSantis and, though it hurts to admit I’m a Floridian, I feel like his fan base is very shallow and limited.
He may do reasonably well in my home state (another painful admission) but I wonder if his appeal extends anywhere past the state’s borders. Recent polls seem to attest to that…
Fox poll shows Trump’s lead over DeSantis growing
According to the above article:
Trump was the top pick for 54 percent of respondents, who were asked to choose from a list of potential 2024 Republican presidential nominees. DeSantis — who has yet to declare his candidacy, though he is widely expected to — came in as a distant second pick, with 24 percent of the vote. It’s a slight drop in support for the Florida governor, who nabbed 28 percent to Trump’s 43 percent in a Fox poll conducted late last month.
We’re still very early in the whole process but I’m old enough to remember other Governors who seemed strong possibilities to represent either the Democratic or Republican parties and their campaigns fizzled when they moved outside the borders of their state.
So too it might be with DeSantis.
I will say this much: If Trump does once again become the Republican candidate, I envision Biden beating him and likely more handily than before. If DeSantis becomes the candidate, I suspect it will be the same.
Perhaps I’m very off but it feels like the Republican “brand” has become very bruised -if not outright poisoned- by the events of the last near decade. We’ve lived through Trump’s candidacy and presidency, the events of January 6th, the conservative Supreme Court and its striking of Roe v Wade, the lack of any serious policy that people seem to stand by (notice how the term “woke” has become a catch all phrase to signify… what exactly?!), and figures -especially in the House of Representatives- that are either silly or scary or inept in equal measures.
We see in the Republicans a party that seems to not offer much except near constant hate and division. There are those that feed off those emotions but for others, it becomes nothing less than a drag.
So here we stand, with Trump perhaps finally facing what he’s avoided all his life: Responsibility for his words and actions.
What will come of it?