PALM BEACH, Fla. (NewsNation) — Former President Donald Trump is bracing for whether he’ll be indicted Tuesday in New York over hush money payments made on his behalf during his 2016 presidential campaign.
As a possible indictment looms, there is a question of how this will potentially affect his political future as he seeks the White House again in 2024.
NewsNation spoke with voters in Palm Beach about a potential Trump arrest and what it would mean to them. Some people said it would change their opinion of Trump, while others said an indictment would only strengthen their support.
“It would probably increase my support of him. Why? Because it’s political,” said voter Dennis Christiano.
“I think it’s all made up, they’re just trying to get him out of the election,” said voter Steve Thompson. “I’d probably support him the same.”
“I was one of those people that was all for Trump, I voted for him the first time,” said Patrick Thomas, a voter. “I’m starting to think now Trump is the wrong person, but the right idea.”
“If they prove that he did do this and that it goes to trial, it would change a lot of people’s minds on who they’re going to support in the next presidency,” said voter Joseph Anderson.
Law enforcement officials are bracing for protests and the possibility of violence after Trump called on his supporters to protest ahead of a possible indictment.
While an indictment of Trump, would be an unprecedented moment in American history, the first criminal case against a former U.S. president, this isn’t the first legal battle Trump and his team have faced.
The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating roughly 300 documents with classified marking — including some at the top secret level — that have been recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago esate since he left office in January 2021.
The special grand jury in Atlanta that has been investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and his allies committed any crimes while trying to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia has finished its work.
Through those challenges, Trump seemed to not lose any ground with his base or within the GOP. However, there’s still a chance that an indictment could also test a Republican Party already divided over whether to support Trump next year, in part due to his efforts to undermine his 2020 election loss.
“Every time it seems to come to a head, he just kind of leans in,” said Max Greenwood, a national politics reporter for The Hill.”You know, I think in the past, every time he gets into some sort of legal trouble, the Republican base rallies around him. So last year, when the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago, what you saw was at least a temporary bump in his favorability amongst Republicans.”
Some prominent Republicans, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, rallied behind Trump over the weekend. Some of Trump’s potential opponents have also come to this defense.
Trump denies any wrongdoing and has slammed the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office probe as politically motivated.