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Trump has been indicted — now what?

The Manhattan District Attorney’s 34 felony indictments against Donald Trump and the possibility of more charges in the future make the November 2024 White House election even more uncertain. increase.

Trump, who has declared himself the candidate for next year’s Republican presidential nomination, was accused this week of falsifying New York business records to hide his role in paying hush money to adult film actresses before the 2016 election. Formally indicted. He could also be indicted in at least three other cases.

Never before in American history has a former president faced criminal charges, much less a president trying to run for re-election.According to most Recent Reuters/Ipsos pollTrump is leading the Republican primary, even with the indictments.

If Trump is nominated, he will likely run against President Joe Biden. Biden beat Trump in 2020.

In the short term, Trump may benefit from this controversy. one of the first votes The indictment came after Trump showed he had the widest gap ever between Republicans and Republican-leaning independents with a 57% to 31% lead over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. As recently as February, DeSantis edged Trump 45% to 41%.

According to his campaign, Trump is also using his frustration with the lawsuit to raise $12 million in funding just one week after the indictments were announced.

Watch a related video by Mike O’Sullivan.

But pollsters say the indictment is unlikely to shake the key independent voters Trump needs in the general election.

“All polls basically show [is] America is very divided. Clifford Young, president of U.S. public affairs at Ipsos, said: “There is an America that is very supportive of the indictment and believes Trump was lawless and didn’t follow the rules.” Red America, Republican America, thinks it’s totally, totally, politically motivated. “

Impact on Republican primaries

Since the indictment, Trump has extended his lead over other Republican candidates. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 48% of him, a self-proclaimed Republican, wanted Trump as the party’s presidential nominee, down from 44% of him in the March 14-20 poll. .

The approval rating for Trump’s arch-rival DeSantis has fallen to 19% from 30% last month. Other front-runners, including former Vice President Mike Pence and former South Carolina governor and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, had single-digit voting results.

With the exception of former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, those who are eyeing the Republican nomination are rushing to defend Trump from indictment.

Political consultant Julie Roginsky told VOA, “In case Donald Trump can’t or won’t run, they clearly want his supporters to go with them. cannot criticize the former president.

Mr. Roginsky said there is a risk that the Republican challengers will voice their support while Mr. Trump quietly wishes to yield.

“Basically, they’re anointing him as their next candidate, but if they don’t all come together and try to bring him down based on these issues.

If Trump gets bogged down with more legal issues, including allegations that he tried to overturn his 2020 Georgia election loss and that he mishandled classified documents at his home in Florida after leaving office, More Republican candidates are likely to run, Larry said. Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia Political Center.

But if he survives, opponents will want a smaller field, Sabato told VOA. ”

trump vs biden

A Trump nomination would be good news for Biden’s re-election prospects.

“He would generate those votes because they couldn’t stand another option.”

Even if he’s not a candidate, Trump’s influence over the Republican base will force other potential candidates to accept him, possibly making it easier for Biden to defeat him or her. Sabbat added.

Trump could also split the Republican vote by refusing to endorse any candidate. In a radio interview in February, Trump said that if he didn’t receive the party’s nomination, his support “has to depend on who the candidate is.”

Biden has not officially announced that he will run for re-election, and will likely do so when he doesn’t have to share the political spotlight with Trump’s victory in 2020.

“It’s not that anyone is ready, but someone important is preparing to go up against him. So he can take his time and he doesn’t have to start paying for an official campaign at this point. said Roginski.

What if Trump wins?

Trump could win the election even if he is convicted, in which case the country would have a convicted felon as commander-in-chief

“There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents a person convicted of a crime from being elected president,” said Richard Pearce, a law professor at George Washington University.

There are only three constitutional requirements for a president: to be at least 35 years old, to be a natural citizen, and to have lived in the United States for at least 14 years.

If convicted in a New York indictment, Trump is unlikely to be jailed because judges rarely hand out prison sentences to first-time offenders for tampering with business records, experts say. That’s what I mean.

But other criminal investigations, including those related to his role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, could lead to more serious indictments and potential imprisonment.

It would be a “really unprecedented situation,” Pearce told VOA.

“I don’t know how you can be effective as president of the United States while in a prison cell,” he said. “But there is nothing in the Constitution that prevents someone from being president of the United States and being incarcerated at the same time.”

But a conviction could prevent Trump from voting for himself. floridaThe state in which he is registered to vote has one of the 11 strictest incarcerated voting laws.

https://www.voanews.com/a/trump-is-indicted-now-what-/7041520.html Trump has been indicted — now what?

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