Will Trump's indictment in Georgia do him in?
Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC shares his perspective on US politics.
Trump's fourth indictment: is this the one that does him in?
Former President Trump was indicted this week in Georgia on charges that he attempted to overturn the election results there. He was indicted along with a broad group of co-conspirators by a local prosecutor. And this case represents some more serious legal jeopardy for Trump because even if he wins the White House, there's not much he can do to either pardon himself or get the charges dropped. There's now four criminal indictments against the President, one in Manhattan on a relatively minor set of document charges that he probably won't go to jail for. Two in a federal courtroom, one in Florida and one in Washington DC about his mishandling of classified documents and his attempts to overturn the election on the day of the Capitol riot on January 6th.
Both of those he could be convicted of, but if he wins the White House, he can either drop the charges against him if they're still pending or pardon himself. If he doesn't win the White House, then he faces some legal risk. However, in Georgia, whether or not he wins the White House, this case will be brought and he will be trialed. And if he's found guilty, the state may attempt to force the sitting president of the United States to go to jail. Truly an unprecedented situation. Never had anything like it in the United States. Never even had somebody facing criminal indictment like this, running for the White House. So this is going to be the dominant news story over the most of the campaign. Over the better part of the next year and a half, as President Trump sits in a courtroom in Georgia potentially with the cameras rolling or sits in the federal courthouse or the courthouse in Manhattan facing the hearing, the charges that are being leveled against him.
By day and then at night he goes out in campaigns in Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, and talks all about how the system is corrupt and trying to take them down. And longer term, this is going to end up eroding support for law enforcement among Trump's Republican supporters, which is going to be ultimately bad for the rule of law as Republicans start to turn away from the local prosecutors and the federal law enforcement that are going after President Trump for what they believe are purely politically motivated issues. So, huge story. You're not going to be able to avoid it. He's the most famous man in the world. He's facing four trials overlapping to one degree or another that'll probably play out over the next several years. Good luck trying not to hear about that.