OPINION: Majority of Americans Think Trump Committed Crimes - That's a Problem

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

A new poll released on Saturday shows that 62 percent of Americans think former President Trump "committed a crime." Trump made history this past Thursday by becoming the first former President of the United States to have his mugshot taken, not to mention also being the subject of four separate indictments with a total of 91 separate charges. The poll is what many people consider a damning case against Trump. 

More than three in five Americans believe that Donald Trump has committed a crime (net +32; 62 percent committed a crime – 30 percent did not commit a crime), including independents by 49 points (67 percent committed a crime – 18 percent did not), nine in ten Democrats (net +87; 92 percent committed a crime – 5 percent did not), and nearly three in ten Republicans (net -33; 28 percent committed a crime – 18 percent did not). While nearly two in three white Americans believe Trump has committed a crime (57 percent), overwhelming shares of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (83 percent), Black Americans (81 percent), and Hispanic Americans (72 percent) believe he has. Other demographic subgroups most likely to believe Trump has committed a crime include college-educated women (76 percent), Americans under the age of 35 (71 percent), and independent women (69 percent).  

No matter how you slice it, that isn't something to be proud of, regardless of why and how they were brought forward. This Presidential election cycle is being dominated by Trump and his legal woes. Everybody is talking about it, and it's burning up precious time and energy that could be spent on ripping apart President Biden's administration and failures. The first debate of the cycle was dominated by a person who wasn't even there, with Trump ditching the debate to do an interview with former FOX News host Tucker Carlson on X (formerly known as Twitter). However, polling suggests that not showing up to the debate might have actually hurt Trump, rather than help. 

Trump is seemingly always at center stage — at least figuratively — during this election season, and people are losing focus on the future and all the possibilities it brings. With 91 separate criminal charges, he is looking at over 650 years in prison if convicted on all charges, even though we would all agree that some of them are blatantly unconstitutional. Now, I will readily admit that he won't even get close to that, let alone be convicted on all counts. But therein lies the problem. Like it or not, the chances of Trump getting convicted on at least one or more charges are very high. In my experience in law enforcement and statistically speaking, the more charges one is hit with, the higher the chance that that person will get convicted. 

The conviction rate is 82% at one charge; for defendants tried for five counts or more, the conviction rate is 91%, almost 10 percentage points higher.

Again, in my professional experience, like it or not, Trump will most likely be convicted on at least one count on any of the indictments, and he will most likely go to, or at least be sentenced to prison. Now, some will say that my sharing this observation puts me on the side of the "deep state," or something along those lines, but I'm not. I think it is clear by now that my views do not correlate with supporting a big government that is corrupted by power and money. I do believe that there are some serious concerns and even evidence of President Biden using the DOJ or "legitimate efforts of our Constitution [to ensure Trump] doesn't become the next President again," as President Biden notoriously said.

Let's explore the possible/probable event that Trump gets convicted on one or more charges for any of his indictments before the general election next November. Politically, what would happen in the election cycle? First off, because Trump has so many devoted followers, he stands poised to nab the GOP nomination unless the GOP successfully sabotages that. At that point, with Trump as the nominee, he'd also be a convicted felon looking at a prison sentence. And the Republican Party will have lost credibility in its claim to be the "law and order" party by supporting a candidate who will be a convicted felon at that point. 

We'd be going after the presumed Democratic nominee of President Biden with a tainted candidate who could well be in prison either just before taking office if he wins or shortly thereafter. If you think America is a laughing stock to the world now, just wait until that happens. Our international allies and partners would immediately start looking elsewhere for friends, while adversaries like Russia and China would take full advantage of the power vacuum left by an incredibly unstable America. What is more likely, however, is that Trump would lose the general election, and we'd be stuck with Biden and his ilk for the next four years. 

Fair or no, Trump is political kryptonite now. In addition to hurting the reputation of the Republican Party, he's lashing out at anyone who offers so much as the lightest of criticism. He cannot stand being criticized or even disagreed with. His most effective Press Secretary while he was in office, Kayleigh McEnany, committed the egregious crime of allegedly using the wrong polling numbers when reporting on Trump's lead over Governor Ron DeSantis. So what did Trump do? He cut her out like a mold patch on his Double Quarter Pounder with cheese.

“Kayleigh ‘Milktoast’ McEnany just gave out the wrong poll numbers on FoxNews. I am 34 points up on DeSanctimonious, not 25 up,”   

One of the candidates who could beat Biden in November is Governor Ron DeSantis. He is the most successful Republican Governor in the country. DeSantis has done more to further the conservative agenda in his state of Florida than any Republican governor today. He signed "constitutional carry" legislation, parent's rights bills, fought the radical trans agenda, and more. Trump did help DeSantis get elected to his first term, and that was a close one. But DeSantis's victory this past year was a figurative beat down of his politically confused opponent, Charlie Crist, by over 19 points. 

If Trump doesn't win the nomination for any reason, I suspect he will take his campaign forward, but as an independent. If he goes that route, he'll pull a spoiler campaign for the record books, making what Ross Perot did to Former President George H. W. Bush in the 1992 election pale in comparison. Perot managed to gather just over a whopping 19,000,000 votes. Imagine what Trump could do as a third-party candidate or independent. He wouldn't win, but he'd essentially give the race to any Democrat candidate, which, in turn, would likely guarantee a Democrat victory across the board, ceding both chambers of Congress to the Dems as faith in the GOP plummets. 

If he were to back out now, Trump could put his money on any candidate he thinks could crush Biden, of which there are a few who could easily trounce Biden. He could also campaign for Republicans in a way that isn't toxic or childish and helps us win big. If he uses his power and clout to further the conservative brand, Republicans could get that boost they really need



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