Op-Ed by Summer Lane | Photo: Alamy
President Donald Trump’s arrest in Fulton County, Georgia, last week was a shot across the political bow in the 2024 presidential election cycle. The nation has been eternally transformed by the sight of President Trump’s Fulton County mugshot, which some see as a rallying cry for liberty and equal justice in America today.
Trump’s mugshot, which was released late Thursday night after he was processed in Georgia in relation to a 41-count indictment brought against him by Fulton County DA Fani Willis, has unquestionably become one of the most iconic photographs of the last 100 years.
The president’s steely glare into the camera has been called an expression of promised “retribution,” as Trump ally Kari Lake suggested.
Indeed, no other president has faced this kind of an avalanche of indictments and legal battles during a reelection bid.
Trump’s campaign to win back the White House in 2024 is historic not only because of the abrasive resistance he has been met with from establishment politicians, the mainstream media, and America’s federal agencies – a prospective 2024 Trump victory would also be the second time in American history that a president would win two non-consecutive terms in office.
The only other president who served two non-consecutive terms was President Grover Cleveland, netting the Democrat Party’s nomination for a third time in 1892 after an 1888 defeat. Just as Trump will be facing his former opponent, Joe Biden, Cleveland also faced off against his former opponent, Republican President Benjamin Harrison.
Trump’s unprecedented legal woes have catapulted his campaign’s momentum. As reported by RSBN, President Trump has already raised $7.1 million since Thursday night, with $4.18 million of that raised within the first 24 hours after the release of the president’s mugshot.
Since then, merchandise featuring Trump’s Fulton County snapshot has been selling like hotcakes. The iconic image has been printed on shirts, coffee mugs, stickers, and sweatshirts.
Trump, ever the businessman, has successfully taken a shocking legal situation and turned it into one of the most memorable and record-breaking campaign moments in American politics.
President Trump is primarily facing four different major cases as he seeks to win back the Oval Office next year.
Earlier in the spring, Trump was first indicted in New York on 34 charges related to a “hush money” case in a Manhattan court.
Shortly after, the president was indicted again just weeks later in a federal investigation spearheaded by Special Counsel Jack Smith in relation to “classified documents” that were taken by FBI agents from the president’s personal home, Mar-a-Lago, last summer. In that case, he was charged with 37 counts.
In early August, Trump faced indictment for a third time in a federal case in connection with Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. There, the president was indicted on four charges.
In late August, Trump was indicted for a fourth time on 41 counts in Georgia, where a grand jury has been investigating the president for phone calls that he made in 2020 to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. In the Georgia case, 18 former and current allies and associates of the president were additionally indicted.
It is curious indeed that these indictments have come down only in the wake of the president’s announcement in late 2022 that he would be seeking reelection. Trump wrote in August, “Why didn’t they Indict 2.5 years ago? Because they wanted to do it right in the middle of my political campaign. Witch Hunt!”
Trial schedules and other challenges
Trump’s tentative courtroom schedule is shaping up to intersect with the brunt of his 2024 presidential campaign next year. As reported by RSBN, three of his trial dates have been set for next spring. The Jan. 6 trial date has been set for March 4, 2024 – the day before Super Tuesday, a defining point for many Republican presidential candidates hoping to win a slate of primary delegates.
Rather than spending his time stumping on the campaign trail, Trump will be tied up in court, spending millions of dollars in legal fees and wrestling with a swirling hurricane of negative media coverage.
Thankfully, Trump’s trial dates will at least take place after the important Iowa Caucuses in January 2024, which he is expected to win in a landslide.
However, reports have emerged that Trump could potentially be removed from the ballot in 2024. These rumblings arose after Sen. Corky Messner, R-N.H., met with New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan to ascertain whether Trump’s alleged “efforts” to “overturn” the 2020 election could potentially disqualify him from the ballot.
Could allegations related to “overturning” the 2020 election possibly prompt several states to attempt to scrub Trump from the ballot next year? At this point, it seems unlikely, but as the 2024 general election gets closer, Americans can expect more political chaos.
President Trump himself stated on Monday, “It will only get worse because these deranged lunatics know no bounds. Someday, however, Sanity will again prevail. MAGA!”
A winning attitude
Trump’s first post back on X last week – after being banned from the platform in 2021 – was a picture of his mugshot with the caption, “NEVER SURRENDER!” This statement captures the spirit of the Trump campaign, signifying the president’s dedication to continue his campaign for the presidency, even in the face of seemingly untenable odds.
The legal persecution that the 45th president has faced is only increasing his dominance in both GOP primary polling and general election polling. Fundraising is through the roof. People are concerned about whether the justice system in America can be trusted. The world has fallen into chaos, the southern border is wide open, and the U.S. is balancing on the edge of the sharp knife of potential global conflict with superpowers like Russia and China.
The stakes are high. Making America great again has never seemed like such a daunting task. And yet, the American people have shown that no matter how devastating the storm is, they are overwhelmingly supportive of President Trump.
With these attacks fueling his campaign, he is perhaps in the most powerful position he has ever been in going into the election next year.