Second Trump indictment has no impact on presidential polls

June 22, 2023

Democrats who were hoping that a second indictment of former President Donald Trump would convince voters he wasn't fit to hold office are bound to be disappointed by the latest GOP presidential polls, which show very little movement as Trump remains the frontrunner among GOP candidates.

Trump has 57% support in the latest Morning Consult race, down 2% from the immediate post-indictment bump but still a point higher than the 56% he had before the indictment.

The next closest candidate in the race is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who had 20% compared to 19% last week and 22% two weeks ago.

Former Vice President Mike Pence also fell a point from 8% to 7%. Most of the other candidates are tied at 3% or less.

Will he go to jail?

Trump was indicted under the Espionage Act for mishandling classified documents, charges that could carry significant jail time considering that he is 76 years old.

He claims total innocence of all the charges, and says he is prepared to defend himself in court.

Some comments he has made on Truth Social suggest that he will use the Presidential Records Act to claim the records were personal and that he had the right to have them.

He has also claimed that he declassified any documents in his possession before leaving office.

He also says that an audio recording that suggested Trump showed classified documents to a writer of a memoir for his chief of staff Mark Meadows only referred to news articles, not documents of any kind.

Sympathetic judge?

It looks like Trump has a sympathetic judge in Aileen Cannon, whom he appointed while president. Cannon sided with Trump after the Mar-A-Lago raid and appointed a special counsel on Trump's behalf to look through the documents.

The trial will also take place in Florida, where Trump is well-liked and most people are more conservative than a recent jury in New York that awarded his accuser $5 million for sexual abuse and defamation even though they doubted her story about him raping her.

Cannon is attempting to fast-track the trial, potentially to get it over with before people start voting in GOP primaries. She announced a start date in August with pre-trial motions to be filed by July 24, only a little more than a month away.

This is in contrast to a previous indictment in Manhattan, which isn't even scheduled for a preliminary hearing until December and will likely make headlines as voters begin to cast their votes.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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