Former President Donald J. Trump was booked and fingerprinted on Thursday before appearing in federal court in Washington DC, close to Capitol Hill, to face charges of a conspiracy to stay in office in defiance of the results of the 2020 presidential elections even though he admitted to people in his intimate circle that he had lost.
Trump answered “Not guilty” to all four counts against him that were read by Special Counsel Jack Smith. Judge Tanya Chutkan, a 2014 Obama appointee, set the first pretrial hearing was set for Aug. 28 and allowed Trump to leave without bail or travel restrictions.
Trump, who is the leading candidate for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, told reporters before boarding the plane back to his golf club in New Jersey: “This is a very sad day for America. This is a persecution of a political opponent. This was never supposed to happen in America.”
Meanwhile, Trump is facing another indictment by Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis sometime in August. The indictment will likely focus on Trump’s attempt to get Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the 2020 Georgia Presidential election results. According to AP, Willis, a Democrat, is building a case under the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which would allow her to charge numerous people in a potentially wide-ranging conspiracy. Atlanta police recently erected barricades outside the county courthouse in preparation for pro-Trump demonstrations while the former president will be facing charges inside.
Back in June, Trump pleaded not guilty in federal court in Miami to 37 federal counts, including unlawfully retaining government secrets and conspiring to obstruct justice. The indictments allege that Trump was personally involved in packing the documents when he was leaving the White House in 2021 and that he bragged about having secret materials and forced his attorney to mislead the FBI about the nature of the papers he had stored in his Mar-a-Lago mansion.
All of the above appears to encourage the growing support of the Republican base, and a Reuters/Ipsos poll on Thursday showed the former president way ahead of the rest of the field with 47%, ahead of DeSantis 13, Ramaswamy 7, Pence 8, Haley 5, Scott 2, Christie 0, Hutchinson 1, Burgum 0, and Hurd 0.
To quote Exodus 1:12: “But the more they oppressed them, the more the Israelites increased and spread out, and the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.”
Incidentally, the latest polls show Trump and President Joe Biden neck and neck, with Biden holding a slight edge: 45 to 44. To remind you, in 2020, Biden won 51.3% of the popular vote, compared to Trump’s 46.9%.