Former president Donald Trump decided to turn his arrest and 34 felony charges related to hush money payments to an adult film star into a money-making opportunity, and has reportedly raised $7 million for his 2024 campaign since official news of his indictment last week.
For Tuesday’s arrest and appearance in court, the Trump campaign is even selling fake mugshot T-shirts that make him two inches taller than he actually is. In the image, Trump is 6’5”, when in reality, he is 6’3”.
There is no actual mugshot—his attorneys arranged for none to be part of his arrest, though he was fingerprinted today.
These solicitations from the Trump campaign’s joint fundraising committee began in recent weeks when the possibility of the former president being charged started to make the news. The goal, as CNBC reported, was to “spur donations from the former president’s outraged supporters.” Following his indictment, Trump’s campaign started running Facebook ads.
He’s also combined the fundraising pitches with increasingly incendiary rhetoric aimed at the District Attorney and judge in his case.
On March 30, a grand jury voted to indict Trump after hearing evidence from the Manhattan district attorney, whose office had been conducting an investigation into a hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claims she and Trump had an affair years ago. This payment reportedly happened shortly before the 2016 presidential election.
Last month, DA Bragg was also threatened with assassination in a letter containing powder, just hours after Trump himself warned that his indictment would lead to “potential death and destruction.” This was just one of “several hundreds of threats” the Manhattan DA’s office received as they wrapped up their investigation, according to CNBC.
As CNN notes, Trump’s arrest represents a “surreal and historic moment” in history. This is the first-ever criminal arraignment of a former U.S. president. Ulysses S. Grant, who served as president from 1868 to 1877, was the first president to be arrested in 1872. He had been speeding on a street in Washington while driving a two-horse carriage.
Although several polls show that Trump is leading in the potential Republican presidential primary field, which so far just contains him, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and a small number of other candidates, a CNN poll found that 60% of Americans approve of his indictment.
“Mr. Trump was a president of many firsts — none of which were good for our country,” Congresswoman Madeleine Dean tweeted of the indictment. “His arraignment is another first — all of his own making.” She added that the twice-impeached president was “an immoral man” and a “corrupt citizen.”
When reporters asked Congressman Jamaal Bowman to share his thoughts on Trump’s indictment, he kept it simple: “Take responsibility, hold yourself accountable, and go away.”
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