It seems clear to many Americans that the underlying political motive behind the multiple criminal indictments against former President Donald Trump is to force him to drop out of the Republican primary and presidential race, or else be so damaged in public opinion that he'd be unable to win the 2024 election.
Trump was actually asked recently if he would voluntarily withdraw from the race if the prosecutors who indicted him agreed to drop all charges, but the former president made it clear that he wouldn't even consider dropping out, the Daily Caller reported.
He instead insistently repeated that the indictments were blatant election interference and a "scam" that was intended to harm him politically but, in fact, has actually worked to strengthen his standing among Republican voters.
Former President Trump spoke at length Wednesday in an interview with conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, with much of the discussion revolving around the multiple criminal indictments that have been pressed against him.
Trump first expressed his belief that the indictments were intended to force him to drop out of the race since Democrats didn't want to face him in the general election but also made note of an overt change in the narrative in that some observers now say the indictments were designed to ensure he is the GOP nominee because Democrats believe they can defeat him in the general election.
At one point in the conversation, Hewitt named the three prosecutors who have indicted Trump and asked is they "get together and they come see you at Bedminster or Mar-A-Lago and they say to you 'we will drop everything, it will all go away if you withdraw from the race and politics.' Will you take that deal?"
"I think they would do that. I think they’d do that right now," Trump replied. "I have no interest. You know me well enough. No interest. Absolutely no interest. I think they’d make that deal right now."
"That’s what it’s all about. They -- this is interfering with an election. And all those fools that write, that 'oh, they really want Trump to win,' they changed it, actually. So now, they say they did it in order to keep me strong," Trump continued. "They thought this was going to take me down. This was not going to keep me strong. This was -- this has never happened before where somebody got indicted and ended up the polls went up by 20% or 25% or something. No, no, if they came to me and they would do that, they would make that deal in two seconds. In two seconds."
Hewitt pressed for clarification that Trump wouldn't accept a deal to drop out of the presidential race in exchange for all charges against him being dropped, and asked, "And you have no interest in it? None?"
"I have no interest in it," Trump reiterated. "These are corrupt people. These are fascists. These are Marxists. These are communists. These are sick people that are destroying our country."
While nobody but the prosecutors themselves and perhaps their closest aides know for sure what the true intentions behind the separate criminal indictments really are or were, there is no denying that former President Trump's standing in the polls has been strengthened and the overarching narrative about the goal of the indictments has changed over the past few months.
According to the RealClearPolitics average of GOP primary polls, Trump currently enjoys the support of around 52.7% of Republican voters and maintains a roughly 38.5% lead over his nearest rival for the nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who stands at about 14.2% support in the polls.
At the time of the first indictment in March, however, Trump only led DeSantis by approximately 15 points as the former president had around 45% support compared to 30% for the governor, but that lead nearly doubled over the following days and weeks and has continued to be boosted ever higher following each subsequent indictment against him.
Of course, whether the three virulently anti-Trump prosecutors would ever even fathom offering to drop charges if Trump exited politics altogether is debatable, and the whole thing will have to remain hypothetical since Trump made it clear that he wouldn't even entertain such an idea.