The Trump Indictment: Seven Take-aways
Author: Greg Valliere
March 31, 2023
2. Without knowing the details, we suspect this is a pretty weak case, taking an alleged misdemeanor and tying it to a larger allegation of campaign finance fraud. And the star witness will be the convicted felon, Michael Cohen. Even if it’s a weak case, the phrase “hush payments to a porn star” will be the mantra, hardly a plus for Trump.
3. As we have asserted for months, the greatest threat to Trump — by far — are the other three cases that are nearing indictments: Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 riot; his refusal to give up top secret documents that he took to Mar-a-Lago; and his effort to overturn the Georgia presidential vote in 2020. The latter case is moving quickly toward indictments.
4. Republicans, especially GOP presidential candidates, rushed to Trump’s defense last night. The former president will eviscerate any Republican who doesn’t support him uncritically — as in last fall’s congressional elections. Imagine how Mitch McConnell and other party leaders must feel this morning — they were planning to campaign on the shaky economy, crime and illegal immigration, and instead they have to defend Trump.
5. Trump thrives on publicity and brilliantly plays the role of martyr, so this indictment could help him win the GOP nomination. But the general election is another story; he’s the clear underdog.
6. Partisanship will continue to cripple American politics, making it difficult to get much done. Could Trump indictments lead to violence, as he threatened a few weeks ago? Many of the Jan. 6 ringleaders are in jail, and there will be a massive police presence in cities like New York — so future protests may be subdued.
7. This will have virtually no impact — for now — on the financial markets, where the big story this morning isn’t Trump — it’s the release of the personal consumption expenditure report, which includes inflation data that the Fed watches carefully. For now the Trump indictment is a story the markets can live with; the risk, of course, is that a crippled Congress could take Trump’s advice and fail to act on the debt ceiling.
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