Since the news dropped at the end of last week, the talk has all been about the possible indictment and arrest of President Donald Trump. As I wrote over the weekend, however, it hasn’t happened yet. The matter was reportedly delayed to hear from a witness, former Michael Cohen legal adviser Robert Costello on Monday. Costello revealed what he had told the grand jury and by all rights, it’s one more thing that should decimate the case — that Cohen said Trump had no knowledge of the alleged payment to Daniels and that Cohen was a “serial liar.” When your principal witness is torpedoed that tends not to help the case. Now, the grand jury proceedings for Wednesday have also just been delayed.
Republicans have called out political action against Trump. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has called for an investigation into the “abuse of power” being exercised by the Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg and said they would be looking into whether any federal dollars were used. They were also looking into possibly calling members of the Manhattan DA’s office to explain themselves.
But the clear political nature of the possible indictment — after the case had been rejected by the feds and had so many problems with it — had many coalescing behind Trump and ripping the existential threat to the rule of law that this prosecution posed. When you can go after your political opponent who is running for president, we’ve tripped over the line into banana republic land.
Actor Chris Rock was at an event in D.C. when he chastised former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Biden Administration over the alleged pending arrest of Trump.
“Are you guys really going to arrest Trump?” Rock asked.
“Do you know this is only going to make him more popular. It’s like arresting Tupac. He’s just gonna sell more records. Are you stupid?” he said as the room laughed.
Meanwhile, as I reported, Elon Musk predicted that if they went this route, it was going to help Trump win in a “landslide.”
It looks like Rock and Musk might be right about there being a reverse effect. When the Democrats try to smear Trump, it only makes him more popular and a new poll from Monmouth University seems to bear that out.
According to the poll, Trump has now surged to a 14-point lead over his next closest challenger for the Republican presidential nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis has not formally declared yet but it’s pretty clear at this point that he intends to run.
Monmouth shows Trump continuing to gain in the presidential primary, with Trump up 41-27.
This is longest-long-term trend from a high-quality poll in the race. Since December, Trump has gained 15 points while DeSantis has lost 12 points= pic.twitter.com/2xhtECqfy1
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) March 22, 2023
Trump is now up on him 41-27 in the poll. A month ago, in the same poll, they were tied. The poll was conducted from Thursday to Monday, so within the window of when people would have found out about the alleged indictment. And it’s been moving in Trump’s direction since December, as political analyst Nate Cohn observes, so it isn’t just the alleged indictment.
The poll also indicated that in a head-to-head match-up, Trump is now leading, 47-46, whereas, in February, the same poll had him at Trump 53 to 40 percent.
The momentum looks like it’s all going to Trump at this moment if this poll is accurate.
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