Saturday, March 18, 2023


Donald Trump hasn't been interviewed on Fox News in months, but now rumors are flying, so here's Fox's lead story:

And Fox isn't just reporting the bare facts -- there's an extra twist:
Fox Corp. anchor John Roberts told viewers Friday afternoon that if Donald Trump is indicted he might be handcuffed....

“Same sources familiar with the planning said they will go over security preparations in and around the courthouse in lower Manhattan. Secret Service will take the lead in what they will allow or will not allow, the source cautioned, mentioning for instance, that the decision to handcuff the president, the former president, or not, they will set the tone and will escort him into the courtroom.”
Just when the Murdochs thought they were out, Trump pulls them back in. They want to rid themselves of him, but a possible indictment is even more exciting than a Florida social studies textbook with Rosa Parks identified as Black. Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley -- they can't compete. Not even Vivek "Bomb Mexico" Ramaswamy can compete.

Trump says he'll be arrested on Tuesday:

Maggie Haberman and her New York Times colleagues aren't sure about that:
Although prosecutors working for the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, have signaled that an indictment of Mr. Trump could be imminent, there was no immediate indication as to why the former president appeared confident that he would be arrested Tuesday. People with knowledge of the matter have said that at least one more witness is expected to testify in front of the grand jury, which could slightly delay any indictment.

Three people close to Mr. Trump said that the former president’s team had no specific knowledge about when an indictment might come or when an arrest could be anticipated. One of those people, who were not authorized to speak publicly, said that Mr. Trump’s advisers’ best guess was that it could happen around Tuesday, and that someone may have relayed that to him, but that they also had made clear to one another that they didn’t know a specific time frame.
Trump writes about this as if it were a leak to the media, but the media seems not to have known about this until Trump posted this message. On one hand, it's plausible that one of the many right-wingers in law enforcement would leak accurate information to Trump. However, I think it's more likely that Trump wants intimidating protests in advance of any arrest. But will he get them?

I don't think he will. There hasn't been anything like January 6 since January 6. The many arrests and convictions have scared the Trumpers.

Remember, these people are cowards. They might be true believers, but most of them aren't willing to declare war on the system they think has unfairly persecuted Trump if declaring war means putting their bodies on the line and accepting the possible consequences. They didn't go into the Capitol on January 6 believing that death or imprisonment would be a price worth paying for the cause. They went in because they thought they'd get away with it. They thought they'd accelerate the process of getting the election results reversed and the Establishment would back off.

I also think they won't riot on Tuesday because this isn't a last stand. Notice that they rioted in January 2021, not in November or December 2020. Until January 6, they assumed that the mighty Trump would find a way to beat the Deep State, so they didn't need to riot. I suspect that's how they'll feel about a Trump arrest: that it's early days and he'll beat the rap.

And what will happen to the polls in the event of an arrest? I assume Trump will get an immediate boost in the Republican nomination contest, though I think the uptick in his numbers will fade as more Republican voters decide he can't win the general election. However, I don't think the losses will exceed the gains. Six or eight weeks after the indictment, I think he'll be approximately where he is now in the primary polls. He'll slip in general election polls, but not enough for us to count him out. A second or third indictment might take him out of contention, but this alone won't do it.

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