WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former president Donald Trump is expected to be in a federal Florida courtroom for charges that he allegedly kept national security documents after he left office. Political scientists said the indictment helped the former president gain support in the polls.
On Tuesday former president Donald Trump will be in a Florida courtroom for his first appearance on charges he allegedly kept classified documents in his Florida home after he left office. The indictment said he also obstructed efforts for officials to retrieve them and made false statements. Even after this indictment was handed down, polls are showing the former president is the frontrunner for the republican presidential nomination.
“This is gonna help him gain support like people in the House have already done,” said Todd Belt, the director of political management with George Washington University. Belt said compared to previous presidential scandals, we are in a very different world.
“Back in times when we had scandals such as Watergate members of the House could wait and could afford to wait for all the details and evidence to come in,” said Belt. “Today we live in a world and Donald trump has shown us that you want to get out there and ahead of public opinion and you try to really influence that public opinion through Tweeting, videos and public statements and mass media and members- particularly in the House have taken that lesson to heart.”
Belt said support for the former president is strong, especially among House republicans, because they don’t want to be challenged in the primaries.
“Most of them have districts where they’re probably going to win if they’re reelected, and their only competition is if somebody is more supportive of trump comes along and knocks them off in the primary election,” said Belt.
Belt said in the long run, Trump knows these charges will help him at the ballot box rather than hurt him.
“He knows that when he’s in the news he’s able to take bad news and turn it into good politics the way no other politician has ever been able to do,” said Belt.
It will be the second courtroom appearance for the former president. Back in April, he was in a New York courtroom facing state charges accused of allegedly falsified business records in connection to hush-money payments to a porn star.