Notorious distinctions and Donald Trump go together. On June 9th, Mr Trump became the first American president to face a second federal indictment. The Department of Justice’s federal charges are the result of a 16-month probe into the illegal storage of White House’s most sensitive classified documents by Mr Trump, well after his exit from presidency in January 2021. The federal charges came as a shock even for Mr Trump’s ardent backers.

Impudent, Irresponsible and Arrogant

The federal charges were all there in the scathing 49-page indictment document. The indicting revelations prove Mr Trump showed scant regard for the sanctity of the classified documents in his custody, many of them relate to matters of America’s national security. The subsequent disclosure and the charges point fingers at how the documents had been stored in crude boxes, stacked randomly and scattered like scrap in a steel yard. courts/whats-in-trumps-indictment-read-the-49-page- document/4409273/

The boxes were strewn all over Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida. They were found even in his bathroom. Yet, his lawyers were brazen enough to insist that the documents were kept orderly and organised in a store room. The documents were seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in August, after Mr Trump had failed to return them despite repeated requests. Impudence and arrogance are behind Mr Trump facing federal indictment now.

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Desperate to poison Americans’ Trust

With his trademark hubris, Mr Trump had always argued that he had the authority to declassify the documents and then store them. Clearly, he was contradicting himself. In 2021, he had confessed during a probe that he possessed documents, which continued to be classified. The Department of Justice had named an independent special counsel for Mr Trump’s classified-document and the Capitol-Hill cases.

The Department was determined to get Mr Trump convicted. Failure to do so would have been an embarrassment. Again, Mr Trump and his backers are now going to town branding the latest indictment as ‘a witch hunt by a weaponised deep state’. As their idea is to demonise president Joe Biden, Mr Trump is growing desperate to poison Americans’ trust by drawing their attention to the classified documents found in the homes of Mr Biden and ex-VP Mike Pence. indictment-2024-republican-primary-election-politics

Republican Distractions Will not Work

However, with severe prison sentences, the charges in the indictment are so serious that routine Republican distractions will not work now for Mr Trump. Not a small matter that 37 counts have been brought against him. The counts span a wide range among federal criminal laws, including the Espionage Act. It promises to be déjà vu for all, all over again. As Mr Trump will certainly plead and get bail till the trial date, it will be a replay of the Trumpian normal.

Despite the déjà vu and the drama, Mr Trump will be the first former president in American history with a criminal proceeding before a federal judge. The political consequences of this can be easily foreseen. The Republican Party will rally behind Mr Trump to defend him. Worse, his indictments may even help him to get nominated. The Republican Party may even forget his past and profess undying loyalty for Mr Trump. ndictment-voters-gop-donald-trump/70293008007/

May Well Weaponise the Trial

However, the classified-documents case and the indictment will certainly put Mr Trump in greater legal trouble. He faces seven criminal charges in the case and he may surrender soon, the second time in two months. Yet, Mr Trump may use these troubles to rally the Republicans together to support him and garner voters’ sympathy. This is probable as the much-expected criminal trial begins on March 25th 2024.

Moreover, the trial will push initial months of the primary to the background. Mr Trump’s allies are describing the indictment as an act of war and have called for revenge. This drama is sure to raise the prospects of violence. Mr Trump may well use the occasion to weaponise the trial and hit out at the American Democrats. Mr Trump going about raising election funds within minutes of his indictment is an eloquent indication. indictment-supporter-fundraising-strategy-donation-money

A Flurry of Toxic Vocabulary

What is playing on Mr Trump’s mind is clear from his reactions to the indictment. On his Truth Social platform, Mr Trump assailed his indictment as “election interference at the highest level.” He went on to rant: “I’m an innocent man. Either the Communists win and destroy America, or we destroy the Communists.” Without any doubt, Mr Trump was referring to the Democrats and he was insinuating on the ‘Deep State’ intelligence agencies.

As he turned hysterical, Mr Trump stooped low to brand his political opponents as ‘warmongers’ and as ‘the sick political class that hates our country.’ Sparing none, he called the Justice Department as ‘a sick nest of people that needs to be cleaned out immediately.’ He called Jack Smith, the special counsel, as ‘a deranged Trump hater.’ Yet, for all his toxicity, Mr Trump could get behind the bars only after December 2024. indictment_n_6484c491e4b048eb910f6ca2

In Conclusion

Considering the high possibility of Mr Trump’s imprionment, American voters feel Mr Trump’s indictment will surely mar his poll prospects. Moderate voters are already against Mr Trump and his party, thanks to the move to restrict abortion. With the latest indictment, even non-moderate voters will be convinced of his criminal bent of mind. Viewed from any angle, the June 9th indictment is the fiercest federal storm in the political life of Mr Trump.