Trump remains the most popular Republican despite his indictment

Hours after his courtroom appearance, it was clear the former president’s fundamental political calculus is unchanged
Thursday - 06/04/2023 06:59 Author: Editors Desk Source: The Guardian
Donald Trump is flanked by Secret Service agents and members of the local police force as he walks inside the criminal courthouse in New York on 4 April. Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump is flanked by Secret Service agents and members of the local police force as he walks inside the criminal courthouse in New York on 4 April. Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

When the history-making indictment was read out against him in a New York City courtroom on Tuesday, former president and current contender for the Republican nomination in 2024 Donald Trump gained a new title: criminal defendant.

Americans saw a quiet and tense Trump walk into the courtroom under the guard of both the Secret Service and the local police force – whose officers stood behind him during his appearance before a judge, as they do with any other defendant. There, he learned he was facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to hush money payments and “catch and kill” attempts to suppress negative news coverage about his extramarital affair with the adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

As unprecedented as that was, it has become clear in the hours after his appearance that the fundamental political calculus has not changed for Trump. He remains the most popular man in the GOP, and the break his enemies have long sought between him and the rest of the Republican party seems as distant as ever.

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